Netflix's most-watched series ever, South Korean smash hit Squid Game, is tipped to become the first foreign-language show to break into the prestigious Primetime Emmys drama ranks.

Squid Game was released worldwide on September 17, 2021, to critical acclaim and international attention.
Squid Game was released worldwide on September 17, 2021, to critical acclaim and international attention. (Reuters)

This year's Emmy contenders are set to be unveiled, with "Squid Game" tipped to become the first non-English-language drama series ever nominated at television's equivalent of the Oscars.

Nominees will be announced in a live-streamed ceremony starting at 1530 GMT on Tuesday, after which final-round voting begins for the 74th Emmy Awards, set for September 12.

Netflix's dystopian South Korean smash hit is expected to compete with returning heavy hitters such as HBO's "Succession," as TV productions delayed by early-pandemic lockdowns returned to our screens.

Three years ago, South Korean film "Parasite" won best picture at the Oscars, overcoming what its director Bong Joon-ho called the "one-inch barrier of subtitles."

Could this be the year television does the same?

"Squid Game," a violent satire in which society's marginalised compete for cash in fatal versions of children's games, is Netflix's most-watched series ever.

"It's formidable," said Deadline awards columnist Pete Hammond. "I'd be surprised if it's not among the two or three top vote-getters in terms of nominations."

READ MORE: 'The stakes are high': Netflix seeks recruits for real-life 'Squid Game'

High hopes for Hulu

The total number of dramas and comedies competing for Emmys this year is much higher than it was last year, when the pandemic delayed production of many award-winning shows.

After skipping a year, 2020 best drama winner "Succession" - the saga of a powerful, backstabbing family - returns in drama, as do Netflix's crime series "Ozark" and AMC's spin-off "Better Call Saul."

In comedy, Amazon Prime's former winner "The Marvelous Mrs Maisel" - about a 1950s housewife-turned-comedian - and HBO's Bill Hader vehicle "Barry" both come back.

They will collide with last year's big winner "Ted Lasso," - following the uplifting antics of an out-of-his-depth soccer coach - and the acclaimed second season of Jean Smart's "Hacks."

HBO and Netflix tend to dominate the nominations, but 2022 could be a banner year for Disney-owned Hulu.

This year, it has limited series frontrunner "Dopesick," in which Michael Keaton plays a doctor embroiled in the US opioid epidemic.

In the same category, Amanda Seyfried plays disgraced biotech star Elizabeth Holmes in "The Dropout," and "Pam and Tommy" recounts the theft of Pamela Anderson.

Comedy "Only Murders in the Building," starring Selena Gomez, Steve Martin and Martin Short as an unlikely trio of true-crime podcasters, is also tipped to rack up nominations for Hulu.

READ MORE: Disney+ takes fight to Netflix in streaming wars

Source: AFP