FX makes series available to TV Acad early to offset logjam

FX is looking to beat the Emmy rush this year, making the pilot of new drama “The Americans” available to TV Academy members online before the series is launched Wednesday.

Cabler has high hopes for drama “The Americans,” which stars Matthew Rhys and Keri Russell as a pair of Russian spies living outside Washington, D.C., in the 1980s. FX believes that if voters are able to watch the pilot now, they won’t have to find it later in the year when they are bombarded with screeners and have a difficulty time watching everything.

The pilot is available now through late Tuesday night. After the series preems, it will no longer be available online to voters.

“We want to get out of front of this,” said FX’s PR topper John Solberg. “We believe we have a terrific show here that is Emmy worthy and we want to give voters lots of convenience in viewing it.”

The Academy’s website to view “The Americans” is password protected and different from the org’s For Your Consideration site, which offers streaming of many shows but those are usually available closer to the Emmy voting period in spring.

TV Academy awards guru John Leverence said he doesn’t believe the org is showing favoritism by streaming “The Americans,” or any other show that would like to take advantage of the opportunity to reach out to voters in this way.

“It’s just like any other preview opportunity that we already have on the books,” he said. “Going to our screenings would be a reasonable parallel, so it’s an extension of an already existing policy.”

FX has wooed Academy members before during the early stages of a series. In 2007, the net sent five episodes of Glenn Close starrer “Damages” while it was still on the air.

In its first season of Emmys eligibility, “Damages” went on to take home awards for Close as lead actress and Zeljko Ivanek for supporting actor in a drama series. Close won the next year as well.

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