In the broadcast industry, there was a sigh of relief last year and a lot of high-five when, after a six-year draft network series, NBC's This Is Us landed a top drama nomination. Dan Fogelman's hit family drama reiterated the feat this year, even with the Emmy Moloch Game of Thrones back in the race.
That was a great achievement. But while This Is Us advanced for the second year in a row with cable and streaming dramas in the field of the best series, the Zeitsprung show was excluded from writing and directing. It is the only candidate to be nominated this year and never nominated for writing or directing. In fact, I've been years back and have not been able to find another series lately that has received several nominations for the best drama series, but no writing or directorial noms.
This Is Us has family tree – it comes from Crazy, Stupid Love's author Dan Fogelman, who created it, and directors John Requa & Glenn Ficarra. Fogelman wrote and Requa & Ficarra staged the episodes submitted last year, Memphis and this year Super Bowl Sunday.
Both episodes were deeply emotional when they revealed the death of a character, William or Jack. Both sparked social media and became part of the cultural conversation. In addition, this year's Post Super Bowl episode was a ratings blockbuster that reached an age rating of 11.6 in Live + 7 33.43 million viewers and adults between 18 and 49 without considering multiplatform viewing.
And yet, none of the episodes are worthy to write or direct TV Academy nominations. In this decade, since 2010, there have only been two episodes of broadcast drama series, the 2010 Pilot and 2016 Series Final, by CBS ' The Good Wife, both written by Robert and Michelle King land Emmy nominations write. During the same period, there was only one television series, the 2010 series finale of Lost directed by Jack Bender, to get a director. Since then there are none.
For the recent broadcasting script and directorial credits, we must go back to the year 2005 (screenplay, David Shore for Fox House ) and 2009 * directing, Rob Holcomb for the series finale of NBC ER ) Shore's new medical television drama, ABC's he's Good Doctor, that was a big breakout hit as House was once,
The fact that A-list creatives' broadcast drama series do not get Emmy love in the writing and directing categories must be daunting to writers and directors that their craft would never be recognized.
It is not easy to write and direct for a television series. There are more episodes in a season than cable and digital series ( GOT ) tilted as a best drama series Frontrunner, competing with a 7 episode season against This Is Us 18 Episodes Second Season). This is creatively taxed and includes accelerated schedules and tight deadlines. There is also the aspect of commercial breaks that writers and directors need to integrate in ways that do not interrupt the flow of storytelling.
The lack of Emmy recognition for broadcast dramas should also be of concern to broadcasters as we are about to embark on the new pitching season. TV agents have been telling me for years that they have a hard time persuading their customers to sell a drama project rather than cable or SVOD platforms. There is a seal of quality associated with cable work and streaming, and the financial advantage of television shows is not what it was years ago.
Two years ago, a top broadcast studio operator in a panel complained that broadcasting networks "are the last stop on the pitch" for authors and producers. The past two seasons have talked about television broadcasters as having underdeveloped drama pitches because there are no top dramaturges available or willing to release them.
Shonda Rhimes, one of the largest producers and producers of broadcast drama, joined Netflix, who joined Ryan Murphy, who broadcast and broadcast cables. Rhimes is one of 11 drama authors (including teams) who have been receiving an Emmy nomination since 2000 for their work on television series. Only three of them work in Network TV.