One of the best things about my first year as Television Academy chairman has been experiencing so many, well, firsts.
Among the more recent, on the morning of July 13, was my first Emmy nominations ceremony. It was a pleasure to join the talented Anna Chlumsky, of the Emmy-winning HBO comedy Veep, and Shemar Moore, of the upcoming CBS drama S.W.A.T., at the Saban Media Center for the festivities.
Strictly speaking, this was my very first nominations announcement as a participant. As a lifetime TV lover, I followed this annual event with keen interest long before I was Academy chairman, or even a governor. And during my years as an executive producer of CBS’s The Amazing Race, I was fortunate to share in the excitement of the show’s nominations (and, even more fortunate, to witness its wins).
It may be a cliché to say that it is an honor just to be nominated, but I promise you, it’s true — especially today, when there is so much amazing television being produced across our industry. With more than 450 scripted series eligible for this year’s Emmys — not to mention the many unscripted shows — it’s no surprise that submissions continue to increase.
The initial round of online voting that led up to the nominations saw a 15 percent increase in participation over last year. That figure is even more noteworthy given that last year’s number was itself 13 percent higher than the year before.
We are also excited about the number of new programs and talent being recognized. Five of the seven shows competing for outstanding drama series are new to this category — and they are delivered across a wide variety of platforms, including digital streaming, cable and broadcast. In our view, this affirms that quality content can, and will, receive recognition, regardless of its means of distribution.
And, of course, we remain proud of the inclusiveness of our medium. Building on the advances of previous years, the diversity of television is once again evident in the wide range of Emmy nominees who work in front of, and behind, the cameras.
As a reminder, the Creative Arts shows will unfold over two consecutive nights — Saturday, September 9, and Sunday, September 10 — and the Emmy Awards telecast, hosted by Stephen Colbert, will air live Sunday, September 17, on CBS.
It has been a year of memorable television, and we can’t wait to make some new memories with the presentation of this year’s Emmys!
Chairman and CEO Television Academy