EMMYS: Online Voting Raises Turnout, Possibly Altering Race – And What Do Matthew McConaughey And George C. Scott Have In Common?

History has a chance to repeat itself at the Emmy Awards on August 25th if Matthew McConaughey wins Outstanding Lead Actor in a Drama Series. He would become the first – and only other male — to pull off an Oscar win and Emmy win in the same year since George C. Scott did it 43 years ago in 1971. Scott, who famously didn’t attend either ceremony, won the Best Actor Oscar for Patton on April 15th of that year and then less than a month later on May 9th pulled off the Emmy for Single Performance by an Actor in a Leading Role for the “The Price” episode of ITV Saturday Night Theatre. Of course, McConaughey won the Oscar in March for Best Actor in Dallas Buyers Club. Both also won Golden Globes in their respective years too.

66th Primetime Emmy Awards NominationsAs everyone knows, Scott actually refused the Oscar and called the ceremony a “meat parade.” Goldie Hawn announced him as the winner by saying “Oh my God, it’s George C. Scott!” As I recall, when presenter Suzanne Pleshette opened the Emmy envelope that year she parodied that moment by saying, “Oh my God, it’s George C. Scott!” It should be noted that, unlike his unwanted Academy Award,  Scott never turned down the Emmy. He just didn’t show up for it and it was accepted instead on his behalf by Jack Cassidy.

This promises to be one of the most exciting categories at the Emmys this year, with the list of nominees announced this morning not producing a ton of surprises but offering a rich group of nominees featuring the TRIED (Downton Abbey, Mad Men, etc)the TRUE (Detective) along with the NEW (Orange Is The New Black, Silicon Valley, etc)The most astounding thing to me was to see Netflix really break through big-time with 31 nominations and within shouting distance of the traditional three networks (ABC, NBC, CBS) and ahead of Fox.

Television Academy chairman Bruce Rosenblum told me after this morning”s announcement that he’s excited by the results of the nominations. “When you look at the diversity of what was nominated both behind and in front of the camera, our membership should be commended for being bold in their choices — you’ve got shows from broadcast, cable and pay and premium cable, and you have over the top,” he said. “Netflix now has a best nominated show in both comedy and drama series. But equally important, you have a first-year show like Fargo getting 18 nominations, the most nominated show other than Game Of Thrones with 19, so the membership found great content on whatever platform it was being presented, and that’s really exciting.”

66th Primetime Emmy Awards NominationsRosenblum also said he wasn’t surprised the 2% rule did not happen in the Drama and Comedy series categories, where for the first time it could have triggered a seventh nomination in those tight races but didn’t. He attributes the fact that no series came within 2% of the six that were nominated in each of those categories to the enormously successful rollout of online voting for the first time in Emmy history. “We had a lot more voting participation this year because we went to online voting so we had a meaningful improvement in the numbers of our members who voted, which I think caused an easier disparity between number six and number seven.”

He also said the move to online voting turned out to be seamless. “We got very very few complaints about it. It ran so effectively and efficiently and increased the number of votes. We are saying ‘meaningful’ and not giving out the number, but you can infer from ‘meaningful’ that it was large and we look forward to next year when the entire process (including the final voting for winners which this year will be snail mail as in the past) will be online,” he said. “In hindsight, based on how efficiently it worked this year, we probably could have done it this year but I think it was a prudent decision to go slowly and then do the full vote next year.”

More to come on the Emmys soon.

  1. Without Tatiana Maslany these nominations are as worthless as Britney Spears auto-tune. Mr. Rosenblaum, there’s nothing to brag about when you nominate soso every freaking year and snub such masterclass acting as Ms. Maslany.

    1. I agree with Natasha. It’s a travesty in terms of these so called ‘awards’ not to nominate Tatiana Maslany and Orphan Black. No one plays that many roles with such a variety of personalities as Ms. Maslany. None of those nominated could or would have the cajones to even try to replicate what she does.

    2. Considering how many fans she has online, I would have thought expanding voting by internet would have helped her. Maybe not enough. The Americans and Vera Farmiga were also snubbed. People really need to stop nominating Downton Abbey, it’s not nearly in the same class as the others.

    3. I agree with your general sentiment. I actually do think the nominations show some good diversity, but Maslany is without a doubt giving the best performance on TV right now.

  2. Most Americans are entertainment morons. Tatiana Maslany is a REAL ACTOR. Hollywood andmost TV and Movies are done with smoke and mirrors. It is obvious they have not had theatre training and therefore( IMO )they are flat, vacuous performances.
    Most nominees are just mouthing words and the editing and directing get the credit. Those are the individual who should be out front for Oscars not most American actors that are a joke. No Sir John Gielgud from these group of Nominees.

  3. George C. Scott did win the Emmy for the television adaptation of Arthur Miller’s THE PRICE, but the show was originally a Hallmark Hall of Fame presentation airing on NBC in February of 1971. The program later aired on Britain’s ITV Saturday Night Theatre.

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