/// The Emmys Are Basically Fantasy Football for Network Executives

August 26, 2014  |  Media Week

The Emmy Awards are a game. That doesn't mean they're worthless, or meaningless, or cynical; it just means that there is high-level strategy around who gets what award and why, beyond simply who turned in the best performance. And this year in particular, we were able to see that game being played a lot more baldly than it has been in years past. So let's take a look at said strategy, shall we? One of the reasons cable TV shows split “final” seasons into two parts is so that they'll cross years and potentially end up sweeping more than one awards season. Breaking Bad did this perfectly last night—it's difficult to argue that they didn't deserve it. Bryan Cranston, Aaron Paul, Anna Gunn, Vince Gilligan and the rest of the honorees worked on a show that is already being talked about in the same breath as The Wire and Homicide. How It's Done HBO pioneered more than daring cable content. It originated the nomination-gaming strategy, raising eyebrows and earning the consternation of broadcasters when they pulled off an unprecedented 16 nominations in 1999, including several for their brand new series, The Sopranos. It was the first time the cable world had ever landed even a single Emmy nod. This year, they got the most nominations of any network (as they have in an unbroken streak


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