Does the order of the ballot really matter? The Emmys sure think so.
Responding to the slings and arrows of awards conspiracy theorists everywhere, the Television Academy is ushering in a change that may impact the nomination landscape at the 2016 Emmys. According to an exclusive originally reported by Variety, actors and television shows within their native categories will be randomly displayed in ascending and descending alphabetical order each time a voting member accesses the category.
It’s literally the dumbest thing I’ve heard about the Emmys in a very long time.
So, here’s the backstory. Many Emmy watchers (including some at AwardsDaily TV) have wondered if shows and actors benefit from having names that start with higher ranking letters of the alphabet. For example, we’ve wondered if American Crime, American Crime Story: The People v. O.J. Simpson, and American Horror Story: Hotel would rake in nominations simply because they’d be first on the list. I mean, with something like 1,400 shows on television, one can imagine it is time consuming to scroll through all of the nominees to find Mad Men or Julianna Margulies or Jim Parsons, the final two controversially not nominated last year.
Now, according to Variety, if a voter logs in and selects Comedy Lead Actress, then the nominees will be displayed A to Z. If they choose to switch to Drama Supporting Actor, then the nominees could be displayed Z to A.
“From an alphabetical standpoint, some members when they sign on, they will get A to Z, and some will get Z to A,” Television Academy chairman and CEO Bruce Rosenbaum quoted in Variety. “That change was made for this year. I’m not sure the programs that had a T, U, V, W in their first word were disadvantaged from those that had an A, B, C in their first word. Whether or not that’s true is unclear, but it was a concern, and we addressed it.”
I’m not exactly sure how that would help Margulies or Parsons, though, in last year’s scenario. Clearly Rosenbaum isn’t convinced either. These actors are still clearly in the middle of the alphabetically arranged categories no matter how you display them. If Emmy voters so apathetically seek out their favorite nominees, then how would this really change things up? Are we to now expect a slew of nominees starting with Z? Are American Crime and its crushingly similarly named competition favorites to be snubbed?
Will Amazon finally green light that awful Christina Ricci 30-minute drama Z: The Beginning of Everything about Zelda Fitzgerald?