Tiger King misses six Emmy Awards as The Last Dance scores best documentary

The Michael Jordan Chicago Bulls series won the Emmy for best documentary, shutting out Netflix's wild cat sensation.

Tiger King cast (Carole Baskin, Doc Mantle, Joe Exotic)

It has been one of the TV sensations of 2020, but Netflix documentary series Tiger King: Murder, Madness and Mayhem has missed on all of its six Emmy nominations, with the grand prize of best documentary or nonfiction series going to ESPN’s Michael Jordan-focused Chicago Bulls 10-parter.


Tiger King launched on Netflix in March and its jaw-dropping characters and storyline quickly became one of the unmissable TV events of the year: its seven hours of content providing a welcome distraction from the growing coronavirus pandemic and subsequent lockdown for millions around the world.

Tiger King was so popular it remained in the streaming network’s top 10 for weeks after its launch and has spawned two separate drama series currently being developed at NBC Universal and at Amazon.

According to Variety, the story of the rivalry between two wild cat sanctuary/zoo owners Joe Exotic (Joe Maldonado-Passage) and Carole Baskin has not been without controversy, quite apart Exotic finishing up in prison convicted of a murder-for-hire plot.

Many critics took aim at the show’s focus on the salacious human side of the story, rather than the manifest problems with animal welfare and working conditions at the zoo.

Variety’s Caroline Framke wrote that the series “meanders from story to story, making the audience stare in slack-jawed wonder at the characters it’s portraying as if they’re also feral animals in a zoo. … If the series was ever supposed to be about the exploitation of captive animals in the United States, it abandoned that mission within 10 minutes of meeting Joe Exotic, whose explicit goal in life was to get famous at all costs — and now, thanks to Tiger King and the constantly churning news cycle surrounding it, he is.”

Besides losing the documentary or nonfiction series award, Tiger King missed out in five other categories: documentary/nonfiction directing, nonfiction picture editing, documentary series or special music composition (original dramatic score), nonfiction or reality programme sound editing (single or multi-camera), nonfiction or reality programme sound mixing, and documentary or nonfiction series (single or multi-camera).

Tiger King has been back in public consciousness in the past few weeks with Joe Exotic’s plea for a pardon from President Trump and Carole Baskin’s debut in the US version of Strictly, Dancing With the Stars, last weekend.

The Last Dance chronicled the imperious year the Chicago Bulls won the NBA in 1997-98, setting records for the number of games and series won while also underlining the legendary status of Michael Jordan.


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