The 2021 Emmys were a big celebration back when they aired on Sept. 19 via CBS and Paramount+. However, one show that was notably absent was Yellowstone. Fans initially rejoiced at the show's first Emmy nomination after three full seasons on Paramount Network. However, not only was that category not shown on TV, but it ended up not going to the Kevin Costner-led drama.
The Emmys honored Yellowstone in the Outstanding Production Design for a Narrative Contemporary Program (1 hour or more) — notably snubbing the work of Costner, Kelly Reily, Cole Hauser and the rest of the cast in the performance categories. It was up against a tough field of competitors: Mare of Easttown, The Flight Attendant, The Handmaid's Tale and The Undoing. The nominated episode in question was Season 3, Episode 4, "Going Back To Cali." Airing on July 12, 2020, the episode's synopsis reads, "Beth shares a personal secret with Rip; John and the boys deal with some hostile trespassers from out of state; Rainwater reaches out to a powerful woman to help secure the future of Broken Rock."
Unfortunately, the Television Academy didn't think the Yellowstone installment was the best of the best. Mare of Easttown was crowned the winner. This means Yellowstone will have to wait at least until the 2022 ceremony to taste Emmy gold.
The lack of love for Yellowstone is a bit odd. The show is widely popular with a grand scope and high production value. The cast is star-studded, especially when you take each season's guest stars into account. Taylor Sheridan, the writer behind the show, has often garnered critical acclaim. Is the Academy averse to show with Cowboy hats? Well, Netflix's Godless fared very well a few years back, and Deadwood always did well during its HBO run. Is a lackluster campaign to blame? I'm not a voter, so I have no idea. Is Paramount Network just an unexpected source for high-quality shows given its lower amount of output? Perhaps, but its place as part of the ViacomCBS family alongside sister outlets CBS and Showtime should overpower that. Is it just that the show garners up more excitement in Middle America types than in Hollywood elites? That's what I'm feeling. Despite the massive ratings, maybe the TV Academy just doesn't care about the modern-set Western that combines family feuds with big twists and action.
Regardless of what the Emmys think, Yellowstone is here to stay. Season 4 premieres on Nov. 7 via Paramount Network. Spinoffs are also in the works for Paramount+. Stay tuned to PopCulture.com for more updates on everything Yellowstone. Disclosure: PopCulture is owned by ViacomCBS Streaming, a division of ViacomCBS.