Should Emmy Races Dominated By HBO Get A Separate Show?

Al Pacino won an Emmy for Lead Actor In A Miniseries or Movie for HBO's 'You Don't Know Jack' (Getty Images)

Al Pacino won an Emmy for Lead Actor In A Miniseries or Movie for HBO's 'You Don't Know Jack' (Getty Images)

No sooner did this year’s Emmys telecast sign off than the major networks started lobbying for the awards to be split into two shows moving forward.

One kudoscast would rotate between ABC, CBS, Fox and NBC, and present the Emmys for serialized and reality programming; the other would air on cable and focus on long-form content such as TV-movies and miniseries – aka the categories in which HBO by and large competes against itself and thus grabs most of the gold.

Cases in point: HBO’s Tom Hanks and Steven Spielberg-produced ‘The Pacific‘ miniseries led all programming with eight Emmy wins this year, its ‘Temple Grandin‘ telepic swept all five categories in which it competed, and Al Pacino claimed a prize for his portrayal of Dr. Kevorkian in the biopic ‘You Don’t Know Jack.’

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It is preposterous [the Primetime Emmys broadcast] deals so much with forms dominated by HBO and a few others,” one broadcast network exec told The Hollywood Reporter. “It slows down the show and is not particularly relevant to what is going on right now in the rest of television.”

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The producers of HBO content are understandably fighting the proposal. “Instead of people pointing a finger at [HBO] and trying to exclude them, they should be rewarded for it,” argues Steve Lee Jones, an exec producer on ‘You Don’t Know Jack.’ “If others would follow suit, we’d have more quality programs.”

Similarly, ‘Jack’ director Barry Levinson told THR, “It’s a little bit like crying over your own inadequacies…. It’s hard to have any sympathy over things [the networks] abandoned because they’re charting another course.”

Others oppose the splitting of the Emmycast because it would rob the broadcast version of A-list appearances by the Hankses and Pacinos of the film community.

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Not at all coincidentally, the networks are about to begin hammering out a new deal to continue their rotating carriage of the Primetime Emmy Awards, since the current pact expired after Sunday’s telecast. As such, the TV Academy declined to comment on the “two Emmys” proposal.

What do you think about this stink? Do the TV-movie and miniseries categories slow down the Emmys and steal time that could be used for, say, Outstanding Reality Host? Or should the networks quit their… complaining and do better to best Home Box Office?

The opinions expressed are solely those of the author and do not necessarily reflect the views of Comcast.

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