Succession, for one, will have to grind Squid Game‘s bones to make its bread during awards season.
Though Netflix’s most popular (OK, “sampled”) original series has yet to be renewed for any additional season, our sister site IndieWire has confirmed that the nine-episode Korean thriller will compete as a drama series, and not as a limited series, at upcoming awards shows (including next fall’s Emmys). It thus will throw in against the anticipated likes of Succession, Better Call Saul‘s final season, The White Lotus and This Is Us‘ farewell run.
As IndieWire notes, Netflix already has Margaret Qualley’s Maid in queue to compete as a Limited Series, against such likely contenders as Nine Perfect Strangers, Scenes From a Marriage and Impeachment: American Crime Story.
Threading the drama-vs.-limited needle has become a bit of a sport in recent awards seasons, with buzzy projects such as HBO’s Big Little Lies vying and grabbing much gold as a limited series, even though it predictably went on to get renewed for a second season.
Also, some fun facts: Because of assorted guild membership/award eligibility rules, IndieWire reports that Squid Game — which was singularly written and directed by Hwang Dong-hyuk — will not be competing at either the Writers Guild Awards or Directors Guild Awards.
Speaking with Vulture in September, Bela Bajaria — Netflix’s Global TV chief — reportedly sounded “upbeat” about Squid Game‘s eventual renewal, though she said it would depend on writer/director Hwang’s schedule and interest. “He has a film and other things he’s working on,” Bajaria said. “We’re trying to figure out the right structure for him.” (Hwang himself has said that any possible Season 2 would likely bring on an actual writers room as well as other directors, and that — without spoiling anything — it might explore issues of policing.)
Squid Game of course has been going “full f–king beast” mode on Netflix algorithms since its debut. Following its solid initial launch, the Korean series about 456 people who are lured into playing (incredibly) deadly versions of children’s games stands as the streaming giant’s most sampled debut ever, having been sampled by 142 million accounts less than a month after its release. (Netflix counts two minutes of any program as a “view.”) In doing so, Squid Game surpassed the period romance Bridgerton, which in its first four weeks was sampled by 82 million accounts.
Squid Game also now is dominating Nielsen’s U.S. streaming ranking, vaulting to No. 1 by joining the elite “3 Billion Club” — as in total minutes viewed during the week-long evaluation period.