Does Shunning the Emmy Campaign Limelight Hurt a Nominee’s Chances?

Out of sight, out of mind — but does that apply to Emmy campaigns?

Every year, Emmy hopefuls work the circuit by shaking hands and answering questions at endless events. But some keep a low profile, including this year’s nominees Frances McDormand, Amy Poehler, Kyle Chandler, Louis C.K. and Mo’Nique. Their reasons include work commitments and/or a tendency to avoid the media.

But awards pundits continually fret over how much the campaigning — or lack thereof — affects the outcome.

Last year, the teams from “Modern Family” and “Breaking Bad” seemed to be omnipresent — and both shows won Emmys. But “Sherlock’s” Benedict Cumberbatch and Martin Freeman were nearly invisible — and they won as well.

Campaigners want to make sure Academy of Television Arts & Sciences members see the work before they vote. That’s especially challenging with the Emmys, given the sheer number of categories, and nominees. As FX Networks’ John Landgraf said at the TCA this month, “There is simply too much television.”

Even the most conscientious voter has a hard time seeing everything. When “Orphan Black” bowed on BBC America in 2013, the small audience was rapturous.

So star Tatiana Maslany and BBC America worked energetically, including the Emmy circuit, to make sure the audience expanded. This year, Maslany earned her first Emmy nomination.

Julia Louis-Dreyfus has won five Emmys, for three different series. Did her in-person charm earn one or two votes that helped put her in the winner’s circle? Emmy strategists don’t want to take chances.

And that’s the point of campaigns: Cover all your bases.

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