Like I said last week, there are too many shows to keep track of, and invariably I will sample a few series that I’ve either heard of or just look interesting.
It’s not like movie screeners. You decide whether a title is worth a couple of hours and pop it in. Are you going to devote twenty-two hours to a particular TV series you’ve heard good things about?
Also fascinating is to see just what shows are submitted for your consideration. There are always three or four horrible failed sitcoms that arrive in spiffy packaging with blurbs from websites and blogs even less influential than mine. I always think, “What a colossal waste of money. You should have spent half of this on better writers.”
This year, in addition to the screeners and codes allowing us to stream some of these entries, a lot of series are staging evenings where an episode is screened and the cast and producers are available for a Q&A. On the one hand, this is a very cool idea. And there are a couple I might attend. But here’s the thing: it seems to me the only people who are going to give up an evening and drive across town to a theater for this event are people who are already rabid fans of the show. They’d vote for the show anyway. So they’re preaching to the choir. You want to attract new fans.
On the other hand, I would love to see a featurette like that by the cast of ONE BIG HAPPY. Or a “night” with a Q&A. There’s a certain question I’d love to ask Ellen.
Last year Netflix took out billboards all over Southern California. Since they’re aimed at Academy members only I hope they didn’t put any out in Hemet or Pacoima. Not sure that campaign was successful.
Are all these ploys and expenditures worth it? At one time winning an Emmy was huge. The fact that CHEERS won Emmys its first season greatly helped its ratings. Lots of new people checked it out. But Emmy wins for ARRESTED DEVELOPMENT did nothing to improve the Fox show’s numbers. Today it’s less about improving ratings and more about prestige – especially for premium cable networks and streaming services. They live off of subscriptions. If the hot shows are on HBO people will subscribe or continue to subscribe even if they don’t watch those shows. Buzz is more important than bodies. And Emmys still are great buzz.
So let the campaigns continue! Keep those screeners and invites coming in. And then we can all pull our hair out when the nominations are announced. “What? How did Debra Messing get nominated and not Tatiana Maslany? It’s all bullshit! Oh well. At least I get to catch up on the whole last season of THE AMERICANS.”