Emmy Song Category Draws Submissions From the Weeknd, Sara Bareilles, Lin-Manuel Miranda, Mark Ronson, Pasek & Paul and Other Big Music Names

Songwriters Benj Pasek and Justin Paul are on the verge of EGOT status… that is, if Emmy voters nominate their song from “Only Murders in the Building” and it winds up winning three months from now.

Pasek and Paul — already Oscar winners for “La La Land” and Tony and Grammy winners for “Dear Evan Hansen” — could finally manage that feat with the witty comic patter song “Which of the Pickwick Triplets Did It?,” sung by Steve Martin and co-written with fellow Tony and Grammy winners Marc Shaiman and Scott Wittman for the third season of the Hulu comedy-drama.

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They are among the many prominent songwriters who have entered songs in this year’s Emmy competition. Voting began Thursday, with approximately 550 members of the Television Academy music peer group eligible to vote in seven music categories. Voting ends June 24 and the nominations will be announced July 17.

Another pair of Oscar and Grammy winners, Mark Ronson and Andrew Wyatt (“A Star Is Born,” “Barbie”), have entered “Sweet Morning Heat” from Jerry Seinfeld’s Netflix comedy “Unfrosted,” while Sara Bareilles is offering “The Medium Time” from the same streamer’s “Girls5eva.” She’s been Emmy-nominated three times without a win.

Barbra Streisand’s performance of “Love Will Survive” from Peacock’s “The Tattooist of Auschwitz” will be a serious contender. Written by score composers Hans Zimmer and Kara Talve along with producer Walter Afanasieff and lyricist Charlie Midnight, it’s a rare new song release from the now 82-year-old diva. And if it’s nominated and wins, that would mark a first Emmy for veteran film composer Zimmer (“Dune,” “The Lion King”).

Lin-Manuel Miranda, who already has two Emmys, is a potential nominee for the Spanish-language “Esperando Pelitos” from Netflix’s animated series “Big Mouth,” while the Weeknd has entered two songs from HBO’s critically lambasted “The Idol” (“One of the Girls,” “World Class Sinner”).

NatGeo’s “Genius: MLK / X” is offering three songs: Aloe Blacc’s “Change the World,” Jacob Banks’ “Jericho” and Rhiannon Giddens’ “Home”; all would be first-time nominees if voters decide in their favor. Bryan Adams and Mutt Lange are also in the race with “You’re Awesome” from Comedy Central’s “Office Race.”

“Saturday Night Live” has entered no fewer than eight songs from the 2023-24 season, including a country tune with Chris Stapleton (“Get That Boy Back”), a rap with Travis Scott (“We Got Too High”), an ode to tampons by Kate McKinnon (“Farm Song”), a dance number with Maya Rudolph (“Mother’s Day Monologue”) and a rude but funny tribute to a movie-theater giveaway (“Dune Popcorn Bucket”).

Sixty songs were entered this year, down from last year’s 80 entries. In fact, five of the seven music categories received fewer entries than last year. Only music direction received more: 22 this year, including such high-profile candidates as Usher’s Super Bowl LVIII Halftime Show, Lady Gaga’s “Chromatica Ball” and Jennifer Lopez’s “Apple Music Live” show.

Two-time Emmy winner Rickey Minor is back in the running with his musical direction of both the Oscar telecast and “The Kennedy Center Honors,” and “Saturday Night Live” has entered its April 13 episode with Ryan Gosling for musical direction.

The main-title theme music category is distinguished by the number of Oscar winners and multiple Oscar nominees: Alexandre Desplat (“The Regime”), Atticus Ross (“Shogun”), Rachel Portman (“We Were the Lucky Ones”), James Newton Howard (“All the Light We Cannot See”), Kris Bowers (“Secret Invasion”) and Thomas Newman (“Feud: Capote vs. the Swans”).

The sheer numbers involved (106 entries for series score, 69 for limited or anthology series score, 52 for documentary score, 49 for main-title theme, 117 for music supervision) again demonstrate the impossibility of seeing and judging all the entries, a challenge faced every year by the music branch.

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