The Board of Governors of the Television Academy voted to split three more fields heading into this year’s Primetime Emmy Awards. That pushed the number of Emmy categories to a record 106. Yet we’ve never had so many shows that don’t seem to fit in any of them. The problem impacts mainly anthology-style dramas, which straddle the worlds of regular series and miniseries, and the proverbial “dramedies,” which blur the lines between comedy and drama. The issue came to the forefront with the debate surrounding HBO’s decision to enter the eight-episode True Detective as a drama, Showtime switching Shameless from drama to comedy series after three seasons and Netflix entering Orange Is the New Black as a comedy after submitting it as a drama for the Golden Globes.
EMMYS: With Balloting Set To Start Campaign Hits Fever Pitch – But Is It All Worth It? NBC’s Award “Wizard” Richard Licata Says Yes
Emmy balloting starts Monday and continues through June 20, and you would have to be living under a rock — or somewhere other than Los Angeles or New York — not to be aware that we are in the midst of perhaps the most massive, widespread Emmy campaigning ever. Is it me or has this Emmy season even seemed to eclipse the Oscars in terms of the campaign for the golden statuette, even though there is no evidence that winning an Emmy has anywhere near the financial or prestige value of an Oscar.
There are billboards , bus posters, social media, Q&As, online and print ads galore and it doesn’t stop there. On Friday night, FX is throwing a New Orleans-style feast and concert from Stevie Nicks to accompany an episode screening and Q&A of their miniseries hopeful American Horror Story: Coven. It’s just one of many such events Television Academy members have been invited to this season. And this kind of thing just seems to be proliferating year after year. Perhaps it helps that the TV Academy itself plays ball in this game. The group’s official Emmy Magazine, which goes to all 16,000-plus eligible voters, is chock full of ads both inside and outside. Just to get to the actual magazine itself you have to rip off a Good Wife snipe, get past a glossy four-sided fake cover for Big Bang Theory and other Warner Bros shows, and dispense with an elaborate insert and DVD promoting CBS reality shows. Once you hit the “real” cover which features Fox’s Sleepy Hollow, it actually opens immediately into a massive HBO Emmy campaign ad for True Detective followed by nine more pages of ads before even hitting the table of contents. (Oh, and did we mention Sleepy Hollow itself had a big screening event at Hollywood Forever Cemetery on Monday?)
Of course the Academy Of Motion Picture Arts & Sciences does none of that, but doesn’t prevent campaigning to its members during Oscar season. But, while being even-handed and playing no favorites, the TV Academy does realize some income from all those ads and even hired a new head of ad sales this year, Hollywood trade veteran Rose Einstein (it should be noted Deadline is also chock full of Emmy ads).
The TV Academy leadership is being digital-minded in their choice for new President and COO. Maury McIntyre has been promoted to the post, filling the void left by the April passing of former president Lucy Hood. McIntyre, who joined the TV Academy in March of 2013 as VP of Digital, has overseen the introduction of the Academy’s new website and content distribution partnership with Yahoo. Additionally, he has been instrumental in the implementation of online voting for the Primetime Emmys for the first time, with the Academy’s expanded Emmy-related content landing sponsorships from such brands as Audi and Samsung. He also has focused on social media, tripling the Academy’s reach in the area. “Maury is a dynamic executive whose vision and experience has helped propel the Academy into the future,” said TV Academy chairman and CEO Bruce Rosenblum. “Equally important, Maury stepped up during a very difficult time for the Academy to not only lead the staff, but ensure that our membership and organization continued business as usual.”
As President and COO, McIntyre will oversee Academy staff along with the day-to-day activities of the organization, reporting to Television Academy Chairman Bruce Rosenblum and Foundation Chairman Jerry Petry. Prior to joining the TV Academy, McIntyre, who has background as a composer, was most recently VP of Programming and Editorial for Disney Interactive.
Emmy season is revving up already even though the primetime awards show won’t be happening until the end of summer (Monday August 25th on NBC). But if you want to vote, the first major deadline looms tomorrow April 17, the last day to join the Academy, renew your membership or apply for hyphenate ballots in order to cast a ballot in this year’s contest. There is always a surge of interest in joining the Academy around this time of year. In fact, last season there was a substantial increase in membership, primarily in order to cast an Emmy ballot. It’s not uncommon to see applications coming in bulk from staffs of shows that want those nominations, but unless these hopefuls apply by Thursday they will have to wait until next year.
In addition to the deadline, the Television Academy (as it now calls itself – and full disclosure I am on the Board Of Governors representing Writers) just sent out a formal letter this week to the eligible membership (now well over 16,000 and climbing) regarding instructions for online voting, which is being instituted for the first time this season.
Jay Leno was inducted last night into the Television Academy’s Hall Of Fame along with Rupert Murdoch, Julia Louis-Dreyfus, David E Kelley, Ray Dolby and Brandon Stoddard. Here is Leno’s acceptance speech — if you’re missing his Tonight Show stand-ups, this will do nicely.
Tonight at the the Academy of Television Arts & Sciences’ annual Hall of Fame induction ceremony, chairman Bruce Rosenblum will detail plans of a major makeover for the organization, including an expansion of its North Hollywood headquarters, a $40 million fundraising drive, a spiffing up of its Emmy statuette logo – the org is even changing its name to the more straightforward “Television Academy.”
The Academy says it will break ground on a dramatic expansion of its NoHo Arts District campus the day after this year’s Emmycast on August 25. This state-of-the-art facility will enable the Academy to host “even more events with television’s game-changers,” Rosenblum said in this morning’s announcement (see his letter to members bel0w). In addition to the construction, the fundraising will be put to use boosting educational work and scholarship program.
Beyond simplifying its name, the TV Academy also retained brand-strategy firm Siegel+Gale to revise its logo. The Emmy trophy itself will not change, but its graphic depiction will. The new look is “a symbolic representation of where we’re headed,” Rosenblum told Deadline. ”If you look at the new image – it’s cleaner, a bit tighter and more contemporary. It was in alignment with an evaluation of our name. We looked at the name Academy of Television Arts & Sciences and it was a bit dated, a bit old fashioned.” The Academy even mulled dropping “television” from its name. “After a lot of thought and discussion what became clear to all of us that while the word ‘television’ means something different than it did 70 years ago when our academy was founded, the word continues to haves significant resonance and importance among people who enjoy what television is – it’s a reference to the content itself,” Rosenblum said. “When you talk about ‘watching television’ you’re talking about watching Breaking Bad or Walking Dead or The Big Bang Theory – you’re not talking about the box you used to watch in your living room.”
Here’s Rosenblum’s letter to members today:
Julia Louis-Dreyfus, David E. Kelley, Jay Leno, Rupert Murdoch, Ray Dolby, Brandon Stoddard Named To TV Academy’s Hall Of Fame
NoHo Arts District, Calif. – The Television Academy’s Hall of Fame Selection Committee has announced the groundbreaking television legends to be inducted into the 23rd Hall of Fame. The 2014 inductees, announced today by Television Academy Chairman and CEO Bruce Rosenblum, are highly accomplished individuals from all aspects of the television industry whose careers have made a significant impact on the medium.
The 23rd Hall of Fame class includes four-time Emmy® Award-winning actress Julia Louis-Dreyfus, prolific writer-producer David E. Kelley, late night legend Jay Leno, media mogul and FOX Broadcasting Company founder Rupert Murdoch, and iconic ABC Network executive Brandon Stoddard. Additionally, sound pioneer and innovator Ray Dolby will be inducted posthumously. The induction ceremony will take place at the Beverly Wilshire, A Four Seasons Hotel on March 11, 2014.
TV Academy Leadership To Stay Put As Chair Bruce Rosenblum & Fellow Board Of Governors Officers Run Unopposed
Last Thursday was the deadline for candidates seeking Television Academy‘s Board of Governors Officers positions for the 2014 – 2015 term to file paperwork. The results are in, and the list of officers will remain virtually unchanged, with the Secretary position the only one contested as current Secretary Marcelino Ford has termed out. All other incumbents, led by chairman Bruce Rosenblum, are getting another term as they are running unopposed. The repeat indicates that the board is happy with the TV Academy’s direction under Rosenblum and the cultural change he has installed. As for Rosenblum, as we reported, his motivation to run again was prompted by a desire to finish initiatives he had put in motion. Remaining on his To Do list for the second term are a rebranding of the TV Academy,embracing all forms of content from iconic creative talent to broadband/digital distributors and looking for ways to further engage the membership through increased live as well as digital/live stream events.
Here is the list: