February 24, 2011 · 3:17 pm
Endangered Species: The Emmy Merge and the Miniseries Form
February 25th, 2011
It is not particularly surprising to learn that the Academy of Television Arts and Sciences is merging the Outstanding Miniseries and Outstanding Made-for-Television Movie categories at this year’s Emmy Awards.
While I am sure that many will consider this part of a larger attack on cable’s dominance in both categories in light of ongoing negotiations with the networks, the concern here seems to be largely practical. There have not been five nominations in the Outstanding Miniseries category since 2004, and in the past two years only two miniseries warranted a nomination due to the complete lack of competition in the category. While the Made-for-TV Movie has been able to pull together 5-6 nominees each year during the same period, let’s not pretend that Why I Wore Lipstick to my Masectomy deserved to be nominated alongside Bury My Heart at Wounded Knee. By merging the two categories into a six-nominee pack, you will solve both the concern over quantity in Miniseries and the (lesser) concern over quality in Made-for-TV Movie.
However, ignoring practicality for a moment, is this actually logical? On the one hand, I think that award show logic has to be concerned about issues of practicality, and streamlining these awards will in some ways appease the networks who worry about Cable’s dominant presence within the Emmy Awards broadcast. However, what does it mean for a Miniseries to compete against a Made-for-TV Movie? Does the longer format of a Miniseries give it a distinct advantage over its shorter counterparts? Or does the succinctness of a Made-for-TV Movie make it more likely to resonate with voters who likely don’t have time to spend five or six hours to spend watching a true long form narrative?
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Filed under Award Shows
Tagged as Analysis, Carlos, Categories, Changes, Cinematography, Downton Abbey, Emmy Awards, Emmys, HBO, Mildred Pierce, Miniseries, Primetime Emmys, Television, Temple Grandin, The Pacific, TV, TV Movie
August 29, 2010 · 11:05 pm
More “Not Boring” Than Usual:
Surprises Elevate the 2010 Primetime Emmys
As a whole, the Emmy Awards live and die on surprise: sure, there’s always favourites, but the idea that “anything can happen” is what keeps us watching a show which so often punishes us for becoming emotionally involved. For every pleasant surprise there has been soul-crushing complacency, and so we watch hoping that something will cut through the pain in order to give us some sense of hope for the legitimacy of these awards.
And while we eventually leave each evening lamenting numerous mistakes, comfortable in our superior knowledge of what is truly great in television in a given year, I don’t want that to obfuscate the moments of transcendence. Sometimes, moments come together that defy our cynical expectations, moments that find the spontaneity in the scripted or make the spontaneous feel as if it was planned all along. And while I remain the jaded critic that I was before the show began, any chance of carrying that attitude through the entirety of the show was diminished at the sight of Jon Hamm booty-dancing towards Betty White, and all but gone by the time Top Chef finally ended The Amazing Race’s reign of terror over Reality Competition program.
It was a night filled with surprises, whether in terms of who was winning the awards (with a huge number of first-time winners) or in terms of emotional moments which resulted from those winners – sure, there were hiccups along the way, and there were still a number of winners which indicated that the Emmys are still stuck in their ways, but there was enough excitement for me to designate these Emmys as “not boring.”
In fact, I’d go so far as to say they were more “not boring” than usual.
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Filed under Emmy Awards
Tagged as 30 Rock, 62nd Primetime Emmy Awards, Aaron Paul, Analysis, Archie Panjabi, Awards, Betty White, Born to Run, Breaking Bad, Bruce Springsteen, Chris Colfer, Claire Danes, Connie Britton, David Mills, Edie Falco, Elton John, Emmys, Entertainment, Eric Stonestreet, Friday Night Lights, Glee, Green Day, HBO, Host, In Memoriam, Jane Lynch, Jesse Tyler Ferguson, Jewel, Jim Parsons, Jimmy Fallon, Joel McHale, John Hodgman, Jon Hamm, Jorge Garcia, Julianna Margulies, Kate Gosselin, Kyle Chandler, Kyra Sedgwick, Lea Michele, Lost, Matthew Perry, Matthew Weiner, Michael Emerson, Modern Family, NBC, Neil Patrick Harris, Nina Dobrev, Nominees, Nurse Jackie, Rick Gervais, Ryan Murphy, Steve Levitan, Television, Temple Grandin, Terry O'Quinn, The Amazing Race, The Big Bang Theory, The Good Wife, Tim Gunn, Tina Fey, Tonight Show with Conan O'Brien, Top Chef, TV, Winners