Monday, July 13, 2020

For your consideration...

Emmy campaigns have been around almost as long as Emmys.  It seems there are have always been ads in the trade papers “for your consideration.”  Studios sponsored them, networks sponsored them, agencies sponsored them.   Some were ridiculous: Best Actor in a Drama – DeForrest Kelly.  I think some actors had ads in their deals. 

In the early ‘90s shows started sending out VHS tapes to voters, featuring several of they believed to be their standout episodes. 

When we were doing ALMOST PERFECT in 1995 our studio wouldn’t pop for the tapes but we could take it out of our show budget.  I think it was $20,000.   We did it.  The tapes got distributed.  We weren’t nominated for anything.   But hey, the money didn’t come out of my pocket.

About ten years ago in Los Angeles I noticed billboards for shows – “for your consideration.”   I wondered – are there enough Emmy voters to justify outdoor advertising?  I’m sure there are not, but at least they are billboards reminding the general public of the existence of these shows.  So in that regard it makes sense. 

But recently I was watching the local ABC affiliate here in Los Angeles and a promo came on for LITTLE MERMAID LIVE.  I thought, “Oh, they’re airing that again?”  But no air time was given.  And then at the end they flashed “For Your Consideration.”   So wait.  Now they’re doing actual TV commercials begging for votes?  And not even planning to rerun the show they're promoting? 

There are well over 4,000,000 people in the Southern California area.  What percentage of those are TV Academy members eligible to vote?  .0001%?   So now in desperation to grab an Emmy nomination Channel 7 is willing to air something that excludes 99% of its audience. 

And when you consider all the commercials and all the promos and all the clutter that broadcast networks are bombarding the viewer with – to the point where there’s a continuous exodus, to add more just to pander for awards seems foolhardy to me. 

Is it not lost on the networks that the shows that do get nominated are primarily the ones on networks with few or no commercials? 

I mean, at least air the damn LITTLE MERMAID LIVE so I can consider it.   

21 comments :

Anonymous said...

Whoa, dude. You don't need to be a Trekkie to know that DeForest Kelley was a great actor. Cheap shot.

cd1515 said...

Complete waste of time but typical of our country, this scam works because it feeds peoples egos.
There’s no other reason to have this.
Does anyone remember who won the Emmy for best anything last year?
Or five years ago?

gottacook said...

Another DeForest Kelley fan here. Just last night (on the Heroes & Icons over-the-air channel) I witnessed one of Kelley's great line readings, in a rerun of the first Star Trek episode I ever saw on NBC, the season 3 premiere: "His brain is gone." Simultaneously conveying Dr. McCoy's urgency and making me laugh out loud is no small thing.

Fed by the muse said...

Friday question, Ken. Assuming you and/or David have served on ATAS "blue ribbon panels" in the past, can you, as much as you are able, talk about that experience, especially about the kind of things writers debate when choosing the winner? Thanks.

iamr4man said...

How many people have that medical condition I never heard of that’s cured (sometimes but watch out for the side effects of the medication that sound worse than the disease) by the advertised medication I’ll never remember the name of? It seems to me that a lot of advertising on TV is directed at a very small audience.
I take it that “The Little Mermaid Live” is some sort of Disney stage presentation they’ve filmed for television? If so, I suppose the “For Your Consideration” ad also works as an ad for the live show when it comes to town. Maybe it will give a parent the idea that it’s a quality presentation that won’t have them cringing in their seat if they take their daughter to see it? I say this as a grandparent who took his grandson to see the “Paw Patrol” live show.

Troy McClure said...

Sorry to add to the chorus but DeForest Kelley had impeccable comedy timing in the Star Trek movies. And when required, he could deliver real emotion.

WB Jax said...

Always thought Deforest Kelley was a quite under-rated actor. Remember being impressed with his appearances on "Bonanza," especially a 1962 episode, "The Decision," in which he plays a doctor convicted for murder (and the only one in town who can save Hoss, seriously injured in a cattle drive).

Unknown said...

I've said it before. We need more awards shows.

Joel Strewth said...

@iamr4man I didn't watch it myself, but from what I heard, The Little Mermaid Live! was just ABC playing the animated movie, except the musical numbers were performed by a live-action cast on a soundstage.

Yup, nothing cheap about Disney. /Doug Piranha-levels of sarcasm

Ted. said...

Also, "The Little Mermaid Live!" was TERRIBLE. A few of the songs were okay, but the rest was unwatchable. Plus, half of it was just scenes from the movie (which were the best part) -- not sure how that qualifies for Emmy consideration.

Jeffrey Graebner said...

"The Little Mermaid Live" was based on a production they did a couple times at the Hollywood Bowl. It worked a lot better in person than it did on televison.

Did the ad at least mention that the show is on Disney+?

Anonymous said...

The "for your consideration" must have been added because the especially influential are staying inside (Madonna is in the tub) because of COVID and are not going to see the tacky billboards or the bus benches this year. They must figure their kids will want to watch the program, while millions of other viewers scratch their heads.

Eventually, with the advances in digital home software, it will be possible to star DeForrest Kelley as Ariel and post it on YouTube, along with his Emmy acceptance speech.

Mike Bloodworth said...

I would think that the majority of Emmy voters are in or around the Los Angeles area. After all the television academy headquarters is in North Hollywood. So, it's logical that shows would advertise on local TV. It's not just the broadcast networks however. I saw an F.Y.C. ad for some damn thing on Hulu that I've never heard of. I also assume that they're running ads in New York, Chicago, Atlanta and the other hubs of television production.

They do this with movies and I think I've seen this with TV shows as well. The "For Your Consideration infomercial." They're probably directed at voters that have never seen or even heard of a given show. That may encourage people to watch a particular show. It can also plant the seed in voter's minds, so they don't have to watch.

I've often wondered how many Emmys were won just because academy voters were just going along with the crowd. That is, "I've heard that's a good show. Everbody seems to like it, so..."

The big question is how are they going to handle an Emmy awards ceremony? I can envision the nominees In tuxedos and evening gowns in a virtual audience on Zoom or Skype and a few nonconformists on Google Hangouts reacting to what's going on. I can't see an actual, physical ceremony taking place masked or not.
Unfortunately for you, KEN the latter means you won't get to see your favorite entertainment reporter, San Rubin.

M.B.


Frank Beans said...

There are certain institutions that are just over and done in this country--award shows like the Emmys, the Grammys, the Oscars, The Republican party...

It's 2020. The future is what we make of it. I think optimism is about recognizing the good from the past, and building on it.

Wendy M. Grossman said...

Mike Bloodworth: They could do the Emmys like Britain's Gogglebox, where they cut to families watching together in their homes and insulting the choices. Might actually be more fun.

wg

Fed by the muse said...

It astounds me just how many very talented, even legendary talents, weren't recognized with Emmys (some not even receiving nominations) during their lifetime: Jackie Gleason, Steve Allen (can you believe that!), Andy Griffith, Robert Culp, Lorne Greene, Michael Landon, Elizabeth Montgomery (despite nine nominations), Gale Gordon, Frank Sutton (IMO, a damn fine comedy/dramatic actor), Garry Marshall/Jerry Belson (as a writing team), Mel Blanc, George Duning (composer), Fred Steiner (composer).

Mike T. said...

I got a "For Your Consideration" ad for Star Trek: Picard during a game of Yahtzee on my smartphone. I live in Michigan. That ad's targeted about as well as the average redshirt's phaser.

Anonymous said...

Wasn't the whole "Better Call Saul" marathon AMC ran last Thursday a "For Your Consideration"-driven airing?

Mark said...

There are almost 4,000,000 in the city but we're talking about the county (lots of those signs are in Burbank, Santa Monica, etc) with a population over 10 million.

Brian Stanley said...

Ken,

I’ve caught episodes from the different series and films over the years but would not consider myself a Trekkie.
Still, I’m a bit confused about the shot at DeForest Kelley, as well. Are you saying the role of Dr. McCoy would have been a better fit for the Supporting Actor category for the Emmys of 1968 and 1969 ? I’d agree with that as Leonard Nimoy was nominated both years in that category.

But looking at the actual nominees from those years for Best Dramatic Actor - Culp and Cosby for I, Spy (Cosby won in ‘68), Peter Graves and Martin Landau for Mission: Impossible, Raymond Burr for Ironside, Ben Gazarra on Run For Your Life, Ross Martin for the Wild Wild West and 1969 Winner Carl Betz for Judd For The Defense.

I wasn’t alive then an I’ve never heard of Judd for the Defense or seen Ben Gazarra’s shoe, but all the rest are rerun staples as much as Star Trek is and I wouldn’t say any of those choices have dazzled me with such unprecedented acting prowess that Paramount and DeForest Kelley’s agency should have been ashamed of themselves. Production value and tastes of the last 50 years aside, I‘d say Star Trek, Mission Impossible, I Spy and Ironside are all pretty interchangeable in terms of quality.

Fed by the muse said...

Don Knotts won five Supporting Actor Emmys (including two special guest appearances, for playing the same character. One would think the voters would have given one of those awards to Morey Amsterdam, Frank Sutton, David White or Ed Platt, all of whom contributed mightily to their respective shows.