Entertainment Magazine

The Emmys Are A Popularity Contest, Dan…. You’re Just Too Blind To Realize It

Posted on the 14 July 2014 by Sirmac2 @macthemovieguy

Quotes are taken from Entertainment Weekly. Read the whole article here: insidetv.ew.com/2014/07/13/emmy-producer-on-emmy-snubs/

“The Emmys are not a popular choice award,” Mischer sternly said. “The Emmys are an industry award. The Emmys are determined by the men and women who create television. That’s why for those of us who are lucky enough to win an Emmy, it means a lot because it’s our competitors and our peers that have given that to us. I think the way it’s set up and the way it’s going to work again this year is that the nominations came from people in the industry who make the product. How many people watch a particular product I don’t think is as important as the quality of the product, and that’s been reflected in the nominations that you’ve seen four days ago.”

Bruce Rosenblum added, “When you look at the dramas that were nominated, I’m not sure which one of those you’d move out for number 7 or 8. The top shows are all terrific. While we’ll get criticism for one or two particular shows not getting nominated, I think membership as a whole did a terrific job of nominating the best of television this year.”

That’s bizarre. You are very much a popularity contest, which is why you vote for the same shows every year. It essentially is the popular choice award of your nominating committee. My solution is simple. Invite different members to vote every year, so you can get a different sampling of shows. My gut instinct is simply that your voting membership, at large, does not watch Sons Of Anarchy, or The Walking Dead, or Orphan Black.

Looking at Metacritic as a basis for “quality” (because they break down the score based on season, not just an overall score like IMDB), let’s take a look at some of these shows. Let’s see if his statement is true.

Nominated for Best Drama Series:

Breaking Bad- Season 5- 99

Game Of Thrones: Season 4- 94

True Detective: Season 1- 87

Mad Men- Season 7: 85

House Of Cards- Season 2: 80

Downton Abbey: Season 4- 72

NOT Nominated For Best Drama Series:

The Americans- Season 2- 88

Hannibal: Season 2- 88

Masters Of Sex: Season 1- 85

Justified: Season 4- 84

The Good Wife: Season 5- (no official score, but an average of 80)

Orphan Black: Season 2- 79

The Walking Dead: Season 4- 75

The Blacklist: Season 1- 74

Sons Of Anarchy: Season 6- 72

That’s just a sampling of the shows that missed out. Of course, there are dozens more. Sons Of Anarchy is the lowest on the list, and it TIES Downton Abbey. So, if you were really awarding quality, Downton Abbey would not have made the list of one of the six best shows of the year. Unfortunately, your voting base only watches the same shows every year, so they missed out on all of the other “better quality” shows. Several shows also outscore House of Cards, and a few even are higher than Mad Men. The Americans and Hannibal even edge out HBO’s boasted True Detective.

If the Emmys were truly picking the “best drama shows”, they would have nominated (based on this sampling): Breaking Bad, Game Of Thrones, The Americans, Hannibal, True Detective, and either Mad Men or Masters Of Sex (tied at 85). Unfortunately, the Emmy’s are very much a popularity contest. It’s what is popular with the small secluded voting branch, which refuse to watch edgy programming like Hannibal, and apparently lost their screeners of The Americans.

It gets a little sketchier with the acting categories, but it is safe to say that Jeff Daniels in The Newsroom (which Season 2 received a metacritic score of 66) would likely lose out to someone from Hannibal, The Americans, or any other show on that list.

I mean, Jane Fonda literally does nothing on The Newsroom, and is repeatedly nominated. She’s basically nominated because she’s Jane Fonda. And if you don’t think Maggie Smith gets votes because she’s Maggie Smith, you’re crazy. The fact that shows rarely breakthrough anymore where their sole nomination is an acting award show how hard it is for the voting base to say “this show is just so-so, but that performance was amazing.”

Take for example Kadee Strickland’s performance on Private Practice, where she was brutally beaten and raped. Private Practice is not an Emmy caliber show, but that was an Emmy caliber performance. Or Monica Potter’s season-long cancer arc on Parenthood, which earned her a golden globe nomination, and she won the Critics Choice TV award that year. Private Practice has never received any Emmy nominations, and Parenthood has only ever received one (for Jason Ritter as a guest star).

There simply is not enough diversity in the Emmy branch. If I take a group of people who watch TV, and we start listing our awards, and do so every year, it is unlikely we will discover many new series (until shows we watch “end”).

The least that Emmy voters could do is to create interesting categories like Best New Series, or Best Breakthrough Performance, where series and actors can only be nominated one time, instead of being nominated repeatedly.

The Television Academy should do everything in their power to encourage their voting base to enjoy new shows every year, and reward breakthrough talent. Tatiana Maslany is a breakthrough talent, who plays several different characters each week. We’re not asking you to embrace The Vampire Diaries, we’re asking you to embrace a series that has a higher metacritic score than Downton Abbey.

At this point, I’m unconvinced you’re watching new shows that are not created by a ‘prestigious’ entity like HBO or Netflix. I’m convinced that new network shows go completely unwatched, and that it is impossible for an individual to have an Emmy nominated performance on a show deemed mediocre. It is entirely possible for the performance to be Emmy worthy, and the show not be.

You may not like The Walking Dead, but Melissa McBride deserved that nomination.

Fix your shit, Emmys. Despite what Mischer thinks, you’re broken. The Oscars have the benefit of not being able to nominate the same damn movies every year, so they’re lucky. You’re stuck in a rut, and if you don’t find a way to nominate breakthrough new shows and programming (as well as standout performances), you’re going to find yourself streaming online like the Daytime Emmy Awards.

No one wants to be the Daytime Emmys.

They had youtube stars on their red carpet.


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