Emmy nomination ballots were due Monday night at the Television Academy. Hold your breath until July 14.
And now we can all breathe a collective sigh of relief. The first wave of interviews, parties, screenings, and For Your Consideration events is over. We’re in the quiet lull until the July 14 Emmy nomination announcement. So what, if anything, swayed voters’ minds in their final voting minutes? Particularly with last year’s winners Game of Thrones and Veep.
The Emmy Game
HBO cleverly staged the finale of their blockbuster, and Emmy friendly, Sunday night entertainment conveniently just before the closing day. Perhaps they’ve always done that, but this year, it feels especially brilliant. At least in one case. The final two episodes of Game of Thrones were the buzziest of not only the season but also perhaps the entire series. Only the “Red Wedding” episode or Jon Snow’s death shook the firmament of the internet. The one-two punch of “Battle of the Bastards” and “The Winds of Winter” seized popular culture for the final week of the voting period with its massive battles and shocking season finale deaths. It also helped that the series took a massive step forward toward an end game in the closing moments.
But did this really sway Emmy voters? Is this really a big step forward to one more Emmy nomination for the behemoth? Probably not. You’re either into Game of Thrones or you’re agnostic of it. There’s little in between. The episodes may warrant additional attention to the actors – maybe Kit Harington or additional support for Lena Headey – but my sense is that those who were going to vote for the series already voted for it. Or at least had it penciled in. It would be interesting to see how many ballots come in over the course of the 2-week voting period. Did everyone fill it out immediately? Did they wait until the last minute? The fate of hanging nominees like Kit Harington may depend on how many saw his strong, physical performance in “Bastards.”
What about Veep?
Veep is a little trickier in my opinion. The series is most assuredly guaranteed major nominations in all eligible categories, and I don’t see anything able to beat it in September. Still, season five left a bad taste in my mouth. “Kissing Your Sister,” an episode dedicated to Catherine’s (Sarah Sutherland) documentary about the Selina Meyer presidency, left me underwhelmed. It felt completely unnecessary, a broken interlude to an otherwise flawless season. Remember how we dreaded Parks and Recreation‘s season seven episode “The Johnny Karate Super Awesome Musical Explosion Show?” The one dedicated to a Chris Pratt fantasia? “Kissing Your Sister” is what I feared “Johnny Karate” would be. The finale, while offering some very funny moments, left an awkward aftertaste, setting up a season six that I’m not sure I really want to see.
Still, no one is betting against Veep at the Emmys. There simply isn’t enough competition. Or maybe there’s too much?
Introducing the Coolies
That brings an interesting point. We here at AwardsDaily TV just voted in our very first Coolie Awards. The Coolies are ADTV’s own Emmy nomination simulation experiment. We all voted for Emmys exactly as the Television Academy did. Granted, there were only seven instead of 18,500, so the survey sample sizes don’t line up. Still, we all voted for the shows we watch and love, the people we respect, and the underdogs we wanted to throw our votes behind. The results will be available July 13, but I noticed something very interesting as I tabulated the results. Without a preferential Emmy nomination process, it became a popularity contest.
That’s not to say our nominations will completely align with expectations – we have a few left-of-center picks here and there – but I was personally surprised at how quickly we aligned on selections. Without trying to predict nominations, we seem to have fallen into the same Emmy patterns that the Television Academy does year after year. What does this mean? The Emmy nomination process probably needs some kind of overhaul. Maybe not the blue-ribbon panels of yesteryear, but perhaps the preferential ballot for nominations? Seems to me that would result in a few more interesting nominations on July 14.
No changes in the Emmy Tracker this week. The Coolies will debut on July 13 along with ADTV’s official Emmy nomination predictions. Stay tuned to ADTV on July 14 for the official announcements as well as reaction from 2016 Emmy nominees and a special Water Cooler Podcast breaking down the nominees and inevitable shocking omissions.
Catch you then!