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EMMYS: Well-Chosen Episodes Attract Voters And Clinch The Nom

By | Sunday August 26, 2012 @ 9:00pm PDT
Pete Hammond

Members of the Academy of Television Arts and Sciences are inundated with all sorts of DVD packages and download opportunities for considering would-be nominees. Starting in about March or April, the deluge begins. Looking back now, it is interesting to explore which episodes the successful nominees submitted for consideration to the TV Academy at large. Here’s a look at the episodes six program Emmy nominees submitted, covering miniseries/movie, drama, comedy, and variety series:



Normally this category would be a no-brainer because most nominees are expected to be one-off movies or minis, and there would be no need to highlight one or two episodes in order to gain entry into the race. But in the case of American Horror Story, a bit of controversy has intervened. Although most would agree that the macabre show is a weekly series, cocreator Ryan Murphy convinced the TV Academy to consider it a miniseries, based on the fact that it will return each season with a completely different storyline and its regular cast in completely different roles. OK, but it is still a series, mini or not. Nevertheless the ploy worked, and it received a leading 17 Emmy nominations including the key one for best mini/movie. Read More »

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Hammond: Emmy Campaign Season Gives Oscar A Run For His Money

Pete Hammond

‘Mad Men’ & ‘Modern Family’ Among Winners At First Critics’ Choice TV Awards

“Welcome to the pre-Emmy nominations campaign lunch,” one cable network exec deadpanned as I walked into the first (and organizers hope annual) Critics’ Choice Television Awards on Monday afternoon at the Beverly Hills Hotel. The event, created by the Broadcast Critics Association to complement the now 17-year-old Critics Choice Movie Awards and plant its flag officially in Emmy season, will be aired Wednesday on ReelzChannel, a rather obscure network that bills itself as “TV about Movies” but in this case will be “TV about TV.” Timed to occur during the Emmy nomination voting period (ballots aren’t due until this Friday), these awards, which drew many nominees, showrunners and execs and a big media turnout for red-carpet interviews, are another cog in the promotional wheel that has turned Emmy season into an advertising bonanza for many media outlets (yes, ads run on Deadline, too), and one that seems to be rivaling Oscar season for its pure visceral assault on potential voters. Actually, as a longtime member of the TV Academy, I would say the attention — not to mention cold hard cash — being lavished on trying to land nominations is more elaborate and intense than it has ever been. And maybe just a bit of overkill.

There are electronic billboards around L.A. soliciting votes (Steve Carell in The Office, anyone?) not to mention bus-shelter posters, Q&As everywhere (I have moderated my share), a months-long advertising blitz in trade papers and the Los Angeles Times (which recently had a full-on front-page ad wrap with their newspaper logo so that when readers opened their paper, they didn’t see the usual headlines but rather an Emmy bid for the stars of Men Of A Certain Age) and so much more.

Then there are all the lavish DVD boxes sent to the over-15,000-strong membership. The Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences put a stop to this kind of blatant pandering to voters by enacting specific guidelines strictly outlawing promotional opportunities sent with screeners of award hopefuls. The TV Academy has not done this (although they should), which is why some days at Emmy time the mail brings loads of fun stuff for voters to unwrap. HBO, which usuually dominates Emmy noms, sent its traditional boxes packed with series, specials, movies and docs, but other outlets feeling the need to be noticed came up with attention-getting devices like the pop-up card from How I Met Your Mother; the monopoly-style board game for The Big Bang Theory; the children’s book-style layout for Fox’s Raising Hope; a lenticular showing two sides of RuPaul for his reality show on Logo; numerous elaborate glossy DVD-laden brochures and/or foldout packages for the likes of Glee, Modern Family, Hot In Cleveland, Community, The Good Wife, Friday Night Lights (including the final 13 episodes of the series); and the shows of Starz, FX, Showtime, TNT, WE, NBC Universal, History Channel, Discovery and others. AMC had one of the most sophisticated mailings and included the entire seasons of Mad Men and The Walking Dead as well as episodes from their other series.

The most garish bid for attention was an ill-conceived item from Warner Bros Television, which sent a big red box (inside another big box) that was adorned with its series’ names and contained seven very slick 4-foot long (by a little less than 2 feet wide) vertical banners with individual series DVDs awkwardly stuffed into the bottom part of each one (Two and a Half Men was MIA in this package, though).

After sifting through all this stuff, at least Fox gave voters a laugh with their annual solicitation for the animated perennial loser Family Guy, an unfolding DVD package that featured such sayings as “It’s been this way for eight years, and it’s starting to hurt morale,” then, “We paid for a Golden Globe and didn’t get it, so we’re owed an award,” then, “Here’s a free DVD to give to your nephew,” and finally, “This screener has one frame of porn. Find the porn.” Read More »

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EMMYS: Jimmy Kimmel Channels Melissa Leo In His Campaign Too

By | Friday June 3, 2011 @ 5:05pm PDT
Nellie Andreeva

It seems that comedy minds think alike. Like Pee-wee Herman, Jimmy Kimmel too is parodying Melissa Leo’s glam Oscar ads in the Emmy campaign for his ABC show Jimmy Kimmel Live. Luckily, a red carpet disaster is averted as the two funny men went for different gowns. And while Pee-wee opted for some good ol’ photoshopping in the Emmy ad for his HBO special, Kimmel went all out, recreating the look by modeling a low-cut black dress that closely resembles Leo’s. In February, Leo famously paid out of her pocket for the two glammed-up shots that she ran as trade ads supporting her Oscar bid for The Fighter, an award she ultimately won (along with all other major movie prizes this past awards season). If Kimmel or Pee-wee win, they better thank her in their acceptance speeches.







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EMMYS: ‘Family Guy’ Pleads For Emmy Love

By | Wednesday May 25, 2011 @ 11:14pm PDT
Nellie Andreeva

For years, Family Guy producers had been asking for, sometimes even demanding, Academy votes in the show’s Emmy mailers. They’ve now switched to begging. Following Stewie’s turn as President Obama under the Vote For Change! slogan in the 2009 mailer and Peter Griffin’s cover boy stint last year as the girl from Precious with the motto Vote For Us Or You’re Racist, it’s Stewie in the spotlight again. But gone is the cockiness, as the sad-looking prodigy is staring at the spider web-filled Family Guy trophy case.

Now in its ninth season, Family Guy has yet to win a best series Emmy. It was nominated four times for best animated series and once, in 2009, for best comedy series. That year, Family Guy creator Seth MacFarlane famously pulled the show from the animation field to go against its live-action brethren in the top comedy series category. It worked, as Family Guy in 2009 became the first animated series in 48 years to nab a best comedy series nomination. The previous series to accomplish that was none other than The Flintstones, the Hanna-Barbera classic that MacFarlane is rebooting for a 2013 launch.

After landing the landmark best comedy series nomination in 2009, Family Guy stirred controversy with the second phase of its Emmy campaign, which included staff writer Patrick Meighan breaking protocol by sending an email to TV Academy members begging them to vote for his show and the show producing six … Read More »

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