You will be redirected back to your article in seconds

Emmy Awards 2016: Great Dramas Slip by Overwhelmed Voters

One of the most exciting things about TV today is you never know where the next great drama will come from. Literally.

Who would’ve expected one of the season’s buzziest, edgiest, most outlandish new series would hail from USA (the network more commonly home to sturdy, traditional hours everyone’s parents love to watch)? But that’s exactly what happened when “Mr. Robot” emerged last summer and began to dominate watercooler conversations even before the 2015 Emmy nominations were announced.

As the season continued, more and more dramas popped up from the most unexpected places: Lifetime’s “UnReal,” Hulu’s “The Path,” LouisCK.net’s “Horace and Pete.”

The onslaught of content makes it challenging enough for network execs and creatives, all hoping their passion project can catch the fancy of both Emmy voters and the TV viewing public. But it makes an Emmy voter’s task downright absurd.

Even if you’re on top of what HBO, Netflix, Showtime, FX, AMC and Amazon have to offer, have you also made time for WGN, SundanceTV, Cinemax, BBC America and Starz? Did you pop in that screener from Crackle? Do you know what Audience Network is?

It’s completely overwhelming. And while a lot of us TV obsessives can’t believe Emmy voters haven’t caught on to the brilliance of SundanceTV’s “Rectify” or the perfection of FX’s “The Americans,” it’s getting harder and harder to expect anyone — critics, fans, industry voters — to stay on top of everything.

The TV Academy vows it’s working on ways to address this issue in the future. I’d love to see some of those creative solutions.

Maybe it’s time to bring back the (adorably) dreaded blue ribbon panels, but use them to winnow down the nomination contenders rather than voting for the winners. The Academy could take a page from the Oscar foreign-language committee playbook and task the panel with selecting two-thirds of a contender shortlist, and allow an executive committee of experts to fill out the other third if the panel misses something worth considering. Then the membership at large could vote on the nominees, from a somewhat less-daunting list of 20 or 30 selections.

Or continuing the Oscars comparison, it might be time to expand the outstanding drama and comedy series nominations even further, with a sliding scale that would allow for up to 10 nominees per category based on how many contenders get a certain percentage of the vote.

Either way, we might be more likely to see a well-deserved risk-taker like Cinemax’s “The Knick” get some attention alongside the more traditional picks, deserving and less-deserving alike.

Whatever the case, it feels like the Emmys are in need of a little shake-up in order to fully recognize the depth and diversity of the programming they’re meant to be celebrating.

Look at this year’s Golden Globe line-up for best drama series: Fox’s “Empire,” Netflix’s “Narcos,” Starz’s “Outlander,” “Mr. Robot” (the winner) and the Emmy winner, “Game of Thrones.” The rapscallions of the Hollywood Foreign Press Assn. may not be everyone’s idea of the ultimate arbiters of taste, but their shortlist of five certainly is different.

Now, we can argue how ridiculous it was that the HFPA failed to include AMC’s “Better Call Saul” or (like the Emmys) snubbed “The Americans” and “Rectify,” but they made a serious effort to acknowledge newcomers instead of just voting for the tried and true, and the race felt a little more exciting because of it.

Emmy voters could do that too (and do it even better than the HFPA). There are no shortage of options. But the question remains: Are Emmy voters watching?

More TV

  • Jee Young Han

    NBC Comedy Pilot 'Like Magic' Casts Jee Young Han in Lead Role

    Jee Young Han has been cast in the lead role of the NBC single-camera comedy pilot “Like Magic,” Variety has learned. The project is a workplace comedy that follows an optimistic young woman (Jee) pursuing her dream to be a headlining magician in the eccentric and ego-driven world of the Magic Palace. Jee will play Holly. [...]

  • Sharon Case from The Young and

    NATAS Announces 2019 Daytime Emmys Pre-Nominations for Drama Performer Categories

    The National Academy of Television Arts & Sciences have announced the pre-nominations for all of the drama performer categories ahead of the 46th Annual Daytime Emmy Awards. “The Young and the Restless” lead the pre-nominations with 21 candidates, but “General Hospital” and “Days of Our Lives” are close behind with 20 and 19 candidates, respectively. [...]

  • Childrens Hospital

    'Childrens Hospital' Team Reunites at Netflix for Comedy Series 'Medical Police'

    The team behind the Adult Swim series “Childrens Hospital” has come back together at Netflix. The streamer has ordered 10 thirty-minute episodes of a new scripted series called “Medical Police,” which is written and executive produced by Rob Corddry, Krister Johnson, Jonathan Stern, David Wain. In addition to his onscreen role, Corddry created “Childrens Hospital,” [...]

  • mike colter luke cage portrait

    'Luke Cage' Alum Mike Colter Joins CBS Drama Pilot 'Evil'

    Mike Colter has been cast in a lead role in the CBS drama pilot “Evil” from Robert and Michelle King, Variety has learned. Colter will play David DaCosta, a Catholic priest in training, tasked by the Church to assess unexplained phenomena to see if there is a supernatural or scientific explanation. He joins previously announced [...]

  • Watch First Trailer for Motley Crue

    Watch First Trailer for Motley Crue Biopic 'The Dirt'

    Netflix has dropped the first trailer for its Motley Crue biopic “The Dirt” — based on Neil Strauss’ best-selling history of the legendarily bad-behaved ‘80s metal icons — and it looks like the film pulls no punches in terms of the band’s famously sordid history. In this two-minute trailer, we get glimpses of singer Vince [...]

  • man-in-the-high-castle-season-two-rufus-sewell-amazon

    Amazon's 'The Man in the High Castle' to End With Fourth Season

    “The Man in the High Castle” is coming to an end. Amazon Prime Video said Tuesday that the dystopian alt-history series will end with its fourth season, which will premiere in the fall. “It has been a great privilege to work alongside our extraordinary ‘High Castle’ team, in partnership with David Zucker and Scott Free, [...]

  • ‘Tomorrow and Thereafter,’ ‘Diane Has the

    MyFrenchFilmFestival Prizes ‘Tomorrow and Thereafter,’ ‘Diane Has the Right Shape’

    Actress-director Noémie Lvovsky’s “Tomorrow And Thereafter,” a heartfelt homage to the director’s own mother, and Fabien Gorgeart’s “Diane Has the Right Shape,” about one woman’s surrogate motherhood, both won big at the 2019 UniFrance MyFrenchFilmFestival which skewed female in its winners and viewership, making particularly notable inroads into South East Asia and Latin America. Opening [...]

More From Our Brands

Access exclusive content