One such show that’s fallen into the black hole of television this year is Starz’s Outlander. The time-travelling romantic drama has been a hit with fans and roped in big ratings for the network. Based on the best-selling series of books by Diana Gabaldon, Outlander follows a WWII nurse as she accidentally gets pulled back to the 18th century and must make a new life while finding love with a Scottish warrior. The show is full of action, men in kilts, and bodice-ripping and it’s been responsible for more than a few funny internet memes – which may be why it isn’t a hit with the crowd voting for this year’s Emmy Awards.
At the Television Critics Association’s press tour in Los Angeles on Monday, Starz boss Chris Albrecht spoke up about the lack of nods the show received.
“I don’t think we’ll ever break through with those people on those shows,” Albrecht told the press. “I was part of the team that invented how to campaign for Emmy awards. Trust me, it’s not a level playing field. I spent years inside the TV Academy working it, and it took a lot of money and there’s a certain momentum that goes along with that.”
Albrecht went on to criticize the diversity of the Television Academy’s membership base. This year’s Oscars sparked heavy backlash after people of color were largely shut out of major categories. While the Academy has begun taking steps to reverse their white-washing problem, Albrecht said the Emmys have a similar issue.
“It’s a very distinct group of people, no matter how they try to expand their membership base,” Albrecht said. “They should be finding a way to platform the diversity, to have something that reflects this expansion and not have what is a continually, by the sheer numbers, needs to be a continually reductive process that ends up with a longer list of losers and the same number of winners.”
It really just comes down to common sense: if the same people are voting year after year, the same shows are going to be nominated. It’s why Claire Danes pops up in every Best Actress category for Homeland or why Modern Family continues to take home hardware after seven seasons. Danes is an excellent actress and Modern Family is still funny as hell, but there are new shows and talent gracing our TV screens every year. The Emmys need to do a better job of recognizing that, giving these actors and shows a platform.
During a time when the ratings game is harder to navigate than ever and when networks don’t bat an eye when axing a new series – no matter how brilliant it is – a nomination could mean life or death for a new show and the difference between a measly 15 minutes of fame or a long, noteworthy career for an actor. Plus, watching these awards shows would be way more exciting if we couldn’t predict the winner in every category, every year. Just saying.
(Via Entertainment Weekly)