A vampire slayer couldn’t do it, neither could a Gilmore girl nor even Superman himself.
No, when it comes to achieving recognition from major awards shows, the WB remains up Dawson’s creek.
It’s been 10 years, but the Frog — despite ratings and critical success — still can’t steal a kiss from Emmy. “It’s like their shows don’t exist to the Academy,” TV Guide critic Matt Roush says. “And that’s surprising because the network has arrived. It’s a success.”
The WB has won a mere three Emmys out of 16 noms since bowing in 1995 (for makeup, music composition and cinematography), and has been similarly snubbed by the Golden Globes (one win in four noms — Keri Russell for “Felicity”) and the Screen Actors Guild Awards (zero wins in three tries).
Among WB series that have been dismissed by the Academy of Television Arts & Sciences are “Buffy the Vampire Slayer,” although it did win two minor Emmys six years ago and received the net’s only major nomination (for writing in 2000). “Felicity” won a minor Emmy, but longtime family drama “7th Heaven” has been limited to one nom (for art direction in 1997), while “Gilmore Girls” has surprisingly also been limited to one nom (for makeup last year).
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Amy Sherman-Palladino, exec producer of “Gilmore Girls,” says Emmy appreciation for the show would be nice, but it’s not a driving force. “You do the work because you’re proud of it and it gives you a reason to get up in the morning, but yes, I would love for the show to get noticed.
“Some good stuff is being done on the WB, and maybe a light shining on something Frog like might help people realize that.”
Phil Rosenthal, a critic with the Chicago Sun Times, names “Buffy,” “Gilmore” and “Everwood” as WB shows worthy of recognition. “So much of the voting is based on perception,” Rosenthal says, “and unfortunately the WB (and UPN) are considered like the minor leagues, although not to critics, who have acknowledged their good work.
“When you describe the idea behind ‘Everwood’ to someone who doesn’t watch, they wouldn’t realize that they tackle a lot of issues head on and they do it very well.”
“Everwood,” a nominee by the Television Critics Assn. as the top new show of 2003, is perhaps the most critically acclaimed of the current Frog skeins. The family drama, set in a small Colorado town, has garnered SAG noms for lead actor Treat Williams and Emmy recognition for guest star James Earl Jones.
“I really think a lot of it is the byproduct of being on the youngest network,” “Everwood” creator Greg Berlanti says, “and that’s something we could be up against until the audience that grew up with the WB becomes voting age.”
TV Guide’s Roush thinks one of the reasons why the WB is often ignored at awards time is that some of its biggest hits over the years — “Buffy,” spin-off “Angel” and the young Superman tale “Smallville” — are guilty pleasures, and maybe aren’t deemed as “self-important” as those on other nets.
“Shows like ‘Angel’ or ‘Smallville’ are genre shows, fantasy shows that are well done but too often get ignored,” Roush says. “It’s unfair and sometimes even embarrassing that some of these are overlooked.”