Saturday, May 31, 2008

Emmy categories I'd like to see

I wrote an article for VARIETY that appeared in their Emmy Preview Issue this week.
My assignment was to create different Emmy categories. I contractually can't reprint it in full but here's the first paragraph and the link to the full story. Is it worth the effort of that one extra click? Probably not but what the hell?

Hooray! It's Emmy season again: Screeners have been sent, full-page ads have been ordered, and self-congratulatory montages are already being assembled for the big night. The town is abuzz. Will Showtime get more nominations than HBO? Will TBS get more nominations than CBS? Will NBC get any? Who does Debra Messing know to get nominated every year? Will there even be an Emmys telecast if the actors go out on strike?

Here's the complete article.


Richard Cooper said...

Loved your list, Ken, but what about a category for Best Reality Show That Doesn't Involve Singing, Dancing, Comedy, Drama, Desert Islands, Testicle Malts, or Scriptwriting?

Anonymous said...

Of course (with respect to the first comment) THE AMAZING RACE would again deservedly win the category, unless the tasks next season involve singing, comedy, etc.

Excellent list; thanks for pointing us to it. One possible addendum, a corollary to the "nausea-producing camera" director's award: best director of shows that require 33% or more of the shots to be from whimsical angles (overhead, from inside a bowl of fruit, etc.)

Anonymous said...

The photo section is a nice touch.

Bitter Animator said...

What's your beef with Boston Legal?

How about a writing category for best show that just chucks shock endings at the end of each episode and hopes they'll be cancelled before they actually have to make up reasons for the crap they're writing?

Anonymous said...

I don't get your dig at Boston Legal. That show is pretty fantastic.

Anonymous said...

Isn't it obvious? Boston Legal is just MASH set in a law firm.

Except William Shatner had to kill a chicken as part of his contract... actually, it was a baby.

A baby, Dad. A baby.

Bitter Animator said...

It really doesn't matter what the act is. If William Shatner does it it, it is worthy of an award.

Was Shatner ever in MASH?

By Ken Levine said...

I don't dislike BOSTON LEGAL. I even have a good friend who's a writer on it. But for my money it's not in the same league as THE SOPRANOS, DEXTER,MAD MEN, LOST, THE WIRE, even HOUSE.

Anonymous said...

Great list, Ken. Here's another new category:

Best show from the previous century we'd rather be watching than any of the dreck currently on the air. The nominees:

A. Cheers
B. All in the Family
C. Anything featuring Bob Newhart
D. Anything featuring James Garner
E. Anything

Anonymous said...

A question regarding DEXTER, if I wrote about a rapist who only raped other rapists, would people praise me as some sort of black comedy genius too?

Which I guess, leads to another question, if you were asked to read two scripts, one for the idea above and one for DEXTER, and you could only give the green light to one, which would you choose and how would you make your decision?

Obviously it's a question of moral ambiguity, when does an antihero's activity cross the line? how does THE SOPRANOS get made? what is the difference between death as drama and death being funny that gets the go-ahead?

To me, it's a very confusing grey area, so excuse the billions of subquestions, but I just don't get it.

Anonymous said...

sephim said...
if I wrote about a rapist who only raped other rapists...

Prison Break, The Director's Cut?

For your consideration:
Former America's Next Top Model contestant(s) most likely to be working as seat filler(s)?

Shirtless Cops perp smart enough to avoid national humiliation simply by refusing to sign the release form.

Network name more awkward than “The CW?”

Anonymous said...

Was talking to Debra Messing the other day. She said, "You know, I'm sure this Starter Wife series is gonna tank. I want to do another sitcom. I've already talked to NBC about it. They said I can hire any showrunner I want. I'm gonna offer it to that Ken Levine, who's worked on all my favorite series."

Me: "Um, you haven't seen the trades this week, have you?"

dangermandownunder said...

I clicked through and am halfway through the article, when I get a huge "30 Rock" please consider pop up. Sorry 30 Rock, you interrupted my reading - no vote for you.

Anonymous said...

"A question regarding DEXTER, if I wrote about a rapist who only raped other rapists, would people praise me as some sort of black comedy genius too?"

That would depend on how funny it is.

Very funny article, but the last thing on earth the Emmys need is MORE categories. They need fewer.

How about if no show truly qualified for a category, not awarding it? For instance, admitting that there was no comedy worthy of a Best Comedy Series Award, and not awarding it that year.

Mary Stella said...


Particularly love the category for "Best series regular you hope gets killed next season".

Anonymous said...

dangerman - i'm pretty sure Tina Fey and the creative team behind 30 Rock had nothing to do with that pop-up.