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December 04, 2013

From the Chairman

Bruce Rosenblum, Chairman and Chief Executive Officer


It’s the programming, not the platform.

That was one clear takeaway from the 66th Primetime Emmy Awards nominations, which were announced at 5:40 a.m. on July 10.

I was delighted to be joined that morning by Mindy Kaling of Fox’s The Mindy Project and Carson Daly of NBC’s The Voice, who graciously got up early to host the ceremony.

When the pre-dawn ritual was over, and this year’s noms had been revealed, they affirmed once again the rapidly expanding definition of television.

As I said in my remarks that morning, television today is platform-agnostic — what matters is the content, not how it is consumed.

Some people like to watch their favorite shows on a flat screen the size of a wall; others prefer to watch them in the palm of their hand, streamed or downloaded to their mobile phone or tablet. Either way, it’s still TV.

Just as viewing options have proliferated, so have delivery methods. This, too, was reflected in the new nominations. Take the nominees for outstanding drama and comedy series.

This year’s drama race includes shows from:

  • a broadcast network (PBS’s Downton Abbey)
  • basic cable (AMC’s Breaking Bad and Mad Men)
  • premium cable (HBO’s Game of Thrones and True Detective)
  • an internet-based streaming service (Netflix’s House of Cards)

The comedy candidates are similarly diverse, with representation from:

  • broadcast (CBS’s The Big Bang Theory and ABC’s Modern Family)
  • basic cable (FX’s Louie)
  • premium cable (HBO’s Silicon Valley and Veep)
  • streaming (Netflix’s Orange Is the New Black)

This is the first year in Emmy history that both of the main series categories include nominees from all 4 of these delivery platforms. But as more and more companies from all strata of the industry delve into original production, it’s unlikely to be the last.

Nor will it be the last time the Emmy nominations spark debate. Unfortunately, it is not possible to please everyone, and not every TV fan’s favorite shows — including mine — can be recognized.

As for the rules of the Emmy competition, we examine them every year, and changes are not uncommon. However, when tweaks are made, the decision is based on the evolving state of the television industry, not in response to individual criticism.

As I see it, all of the chatter about the Emmys is simply another reflection of the abundance of excellent television being made today. After all, as any producer will tell you, an engaged viewer is a passionate viewer. And, boy, are today’s TV audiences passionate.

So if I hear people arguing about the Emmys, I’m not worried — it just shows how much they love TV. I’d be a lot more concerned if people weren’t talking about the Emmys.

See you at the NBC telecast on August 25th!

Bruce Rosenblum

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