Fox’s quickly canceled drama “Drive” has inadvertently made TV Academy history, becoming the first-ever Primetime Emmy broadband nominee.
That’s just one of the unusual finds among this year’s Emmy noms — which also included mentions for original songs that go by the titles “Dick in a Box” and “Everything Comes Down to Poo.” Then there’s the round of Emmy love for canceled shows such as “Studio 60 on the Sunset Strip” — and Acad voters shutting out the CW.
Twenty years from now, when Emmy might be concentrating on programming found on the Internet, historians will point to the mostly forgotten “Drive” as the show that started it all.
Only 50 seconds of the three-minute “Drive” clip nommed Thursday actually aired on TV. Instead, the special effect, titled “The Starting Line,” was streamed on Fox.com — and only ever seen on Fox.com.
The clip — which took a year and a half for special effects shop Zoic Studio to produce — scored a nomination under new rules enacted this year by the org.
In the case of “Drive,” visual effects producer Raoul Bolognini contacted the TV academy’s special effects peer group about finding a way to make his effect eligible, even though the show was canceled before six episodes aired, and ineligible for an Emmy as a result.
The loophole: Bolognini (with the approval of the awards committee) persuaded Fox.com to stream the three-minute scene on the Web. That allowed “The Starting Line” to be eligible as a special, and compete in the special visual effects category for miniseries, movies and specials — as a Fox.com show.
According to TV academy awards senior VP John Leverence, the Fox.com run of “Drive” reps the first series to find its way to the Emmy nomination process via the new broadband eligibility.
Meanwhile, Emmy might want to bring back the production number this year, thanks to the nominations for some out-there musical parodies.
“Dick in a Box,” the raucous Justin Timberlake-Andy Samberg collaboration from “Saturday Night Live” that became an Internet sensation, has been nominated in the outstanding music and lyrics category. While NBC bleeped out the word “dick” on the air, the Peacock posted an uncensored version on its website and YouTube — and saw traffic soar.
Another NBC-broadcast musical number that became big on the web — “Guy Love,” from a special musical episode of “Scrubs” — also nabbed a nom in the music and lyrics category. The “Scrubs” seg proved popular with Emmy voters, with the song “Everything Comes Down to Poo” also generating a nom, and Jan Stevens getting nominated for musical direction.
On the surprise nominee front, viewers may have rejected “Studio 60 on the Sunset Strip,” but Emmy voters showed a soft spot for Aaron Sorkin’s showbiz skein.
NBC drama managed to score five noms, the same number as big hits such as “CSI” — and more than the tallies for some frosh skeins that will be back for second seasons, including “Brothers & Sisters,” “Dexter” and “The Tudors.”
While the noms might be a bit of a consolation for Sorkin, voters’ love had some limits.
“Studio 60” didn’t land any noms in the writing category, and it’s cast of regulars was overlooked. (Matthew Perry’s nom was for his work in the TNT telepic “The Ron Clark Story”).
Skein’s guest cast fared better: John Goodman and Eli Wallach both landed noms in the guest actor category. And helmer-exec producer Thomas Schlamme was nommed for directing the “Studio 60” pilot.
Finally, a word to Emmy voters: There’s a new broadcast network that you apparently have never heard of. It’s called the CW.
Following its inaugural year of broadcasting, the CW scored just one Emmy nom on Thursday. That’s less than Animal Planet, Cartoon Network and the History Channel earned, and equal to those procured by Turner Classic Movies, Starz, National Geographic Channel and Hallmark Channel.
Adding to the insult, the single CW nom was in a less visible category: The outstanding sound editing competish, for an episode of “Smallville.”
Of course, the CW’s execs aren’t new to Emmy snubdom. The CW precursors the WB and UPN were notoriously shut out of the major Emmy categories year after year; the best either could do was an ocassional nod in some of the craft categories. Like sound editing.