Thank You, Networks, For Tallying Your Emmy Nominations So I Don’t Have To
by Adam Buckman, Featured Columnist, July 15, 2016
It’s an annual tradition: Within a few hours of the Emmy nomination announcements every year in mid-July, the press releases from the networks flood a journalist’s inbox.
Who’s keeping score? Everybody. “HBO receives 94 primetime Emmy nominations, the most of any network this year,” read the headline on HBO’s press release, which arrived at 2:35 p.m. Eastern time on Thursday (the announcements were made at 11:30 Eastern). “ ‘Game of Thrones’ leads all programming with 23 nominations,” read a subdeck.
“Showtime honored with 22 Emmy nominations,” went the subject line on Showtime’s press release – arrival time: 2:58. Showtime’s nominated shows included “Homeland” and “Ray Donovan.”
Other press releases informed me that ABC shows received 35 nominations (2:35 p.m.), AMC’s shows earned 24 (4:06 p.m.), and “Mr. Robot” received six nominations. USA Network informed me of this at 1:49 p.m. Hat’s off to the USA Network p.r. team for a very fast turnaround on this news release.
Theirs was not the first Emmy nomination press release to arrive in my inbox, however. That honor went to Spike’s press release, which arrived at 12:45 p.m. – an even faster turnaround. The news here: Spike’s “Lip Sync Battle” had been nominated in the Outstanding Structured Reality Program category. Way to go, Spike.
What’s a “Structured Reality Program”? The best way to explain it is to list the category’s other nominees, which were: “Antiques Roadshow,” “Diners, Drive-Ins & Dives,” “Mythbusters,” “Shark Tank” and “Undercover Boss.” Do you get it now?
FX had a lot to feel proud about on Emmy nomination day. The company’s press release did not arrive until 3:14, but that’s understandable because FX Networks received 56 nominations. That must be a lot of information to wrangle, organize and distribute in just a few short hours. FX’s press release pointed out that its 56 nominations represented a new record for basic cable.
The tally was well-earned too. FX’s multiple nominees included “Fargo,” “The People Vs. O.J. Simpson: American Crime Story,” “American Horror Story” and “The Americans.” What’s the secret to FX’s Emmy-nomination success? Maybe it’s due in part to including the word “American” in many of their show titles.
Or it’s more likely that this network simply has a way of making attractive, provocative TV shows. For my money, “Fargo” was the best drama of the season for many reasons – one of which was Jean Smart’s performance as the hard-boiled, pipe-smoking matriarch of a rural crime family. She was nominated in the category of Outstanding Supporting Actress in a Limited Series or Movie.
There were even Emmy nomination e-mails from Crackle (three nominations; arrival time: 2:35) and Vice Media (five nominations; arrival time: 1:17).
A number of networks and streaming services didn’t bother sending me press releases about their Emmy nominations. I have no idea why.
Just for the heck of it, I went in search of a press release on NBC’s press and media Web site and found a news release ballyhooing the network’s nominations – a total of 42, which is a number well worth promoting.
Hey, NBC publicists, would it have killed you to e-mail me this release? The list of nominations that the Television Academy puts out has hundreds of nominees. You don’t expect me to sit here and count your nominations myself, do you? If I did that for everybody, I’d be at it all day.
The same goes for any other company not included in this TV blog because I never heard from you. If you’re not in it, don’t blame me. “The 68th Emmy Awards” airs Sunday, Sept. 18, on ABC. I wish all of the nominees and their networks the best of luck on Emmy night, whether I am on your press list or not.