Emmy Tracker: The 2016 Emmy Ballot Shake-up

2016 Emmy

The Television Academy revealed the 2016 Emmy ballots on Monday. This caused a great disturbance in the Emmy Tracker.

Thanks to Jalal’s Emmy ballot investigation, a few of the big oddities in 2016 Emmy category placement and submission omissions are now more apparent. One of the more frustrating things about the Emmy Awards is the relative lack of broadly available information on submissions. Sure, there are For Your Consideration ads all over the trades and Los Angeles. Yet, the powers that be in charge of Emmy submissions still like to shake things up. They follow the path of least resistance. Unfortunately, this has consequences on the Emmy Tracker.

Often, these category placements make zero sense. Remember when True Detective season one (the one everybody loved) was a Drama Series? The same series that was a self-contained entity, had a self-contained story, and featured performances from Woody Harrelson and Matthew McConaughey who would not reprise their roles in season two? Remember when it was the very definition of a Limited / Miniseries? Awards specialists at HBO thought they had a shot at the big prize of Drama Series, so they submitted True Detective in that category over the lower-prestige Limited / Miniseries category where it would have most definitely taken home more trophies. Not to worry, though. This year, True Detective season two (the one everybody hates) is safely competing in the Limited Series categories. It’s in no danger of a big nomination haul though.

This year, TBS submitted its Angie Tribeca marathon – a consolidated block of the comedy series’ episodes – as a Variety Special. It stood no chance in the Comedy Series category, but there’s less competition (and less visibility) in the Variety Special category. HBO submitted Lady Day at Emerson’s Bar and Grill in the less competitive Special Class Program where it will still compete against The Wiz Live!Grease:Live!, and the annual Tony, Oscar, and Golden Globe telecasts, among others. Now, I say less competitive because HBO doesn’t have to push it in the TV Movie category against All the Way and Confirmation.

Finally, on the omissions side, neither Angela Lansbury nor James Earl Jones were submitted for their performances in PBS’s Driving Miss Daisy. Not that either were slam-dunks for 2016 Emmy nominations, but Lansbury now has to fall off the Emmy Tracker. Who replaces her? Maybe Shanice Williams’ plucked-from-obscurity turn as Dorothy Gale in The Wiz Live! has a shot. NBC is certainly campaigning hard for recognition, and it would make a great story. It would certainly be a happier nomination than Rachel McAdams for True Detective season two. I have no issues with her season two performance, but the stink of the overall series makes me less friendly to the idea of it receiving any Emmy nominations.

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