Awards HQ Aug. 2: Emmy Nominee Awareness Survey; Quibi to Roku; Univision’s Awards Show

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Emmy Awareness Survey: Here Are the Nominated Shows That Audiences Have Heard Of, Have Seen and Deem ‘Excellent’

It’s a question that we always have about the nominated Emmy series: What have audiences actually heard of, and what have they seen? Greg Durkin, the principal at research firm Guts + Data, has some stats. Guts + Data surveyed 2,400 teen and adult consumers to check their awareness, whether they’ve watched the show, and if so, if they deemed it “excellent.” Longer-running shows have more awareness, of course. Respondents were shown a poster and the show’s title and list of stars. Here’s what came back, and clearly the Lucasfilm/Marvel properties on Disney Plus had a leg up thanks to those franchises; I was surprised “This Is Us” didn’t have more awareness, but perhaps that’s a reminder of the challenges facing broadcast TV. And as we sometimes suspect, some of the most popular and most-discussed shows among critics and in TV biz circles aren’t necessarily as well-known in the wider world. Here’s what the firm found:

AWARE (percentage)

“Black-ish” 71%
“The Mandalorian” 68%
“WandaVision” 62%
“Cobra Kai” 60%
“The Handmaid’s Tale” 59%
“This is Us” 56%
“The Queen’s Gambit” 52%
“The Crown” 49%
“Bridgerton” 48%
“The Underground Railroad” 41%
“The Boys” 36%
“Ted Lasso” 33%
“Emily in Paris” 29%
“The Flight Attendant” 26%
“Lovecraft Country” 26%
“Mare of Easttown” 26%
“Pen15” 25%
“The Kominsky Method” 23%
“Pose” 22%
“Hacks” 18%
“I May Destroy You” 15%

SEEN (percentage)

“The Mandalorian” 31%
“WandaVision” 30%
“Black-ish” 29%
“Mare of Easttown” 29%
“Cobra Kai” 24%
“The Queen’s Gambit” 21%
“This is Us” 21%
“Bridgerton” 19%
“The Handmaid’s Tale” 19%
“The Boys” 17%
“The Crown” 15%
“Lovecraft Country” 11%
“The Underground Railroad” 11%
“Emily in Paris” 10%
“Ted Lasso” 9%
“The Flight Attendant” 9%
“Pen15” 9%
“The Kominsky Method” 8%
“Pose” 7%
“Hacks” 5%
“I May Destroy You” 4%

RATED “EXCELLENT” (percentage)

“The Mandalorian” 60%
“The Queen’s Gambit” 60%
“Mare of Easttown” 59%
“I May Destroy You” 58%
“Pose” 57%
“WandaVision” 55%
“Lovecraft Country” 54%
“Hacks” 52%
“Bridgerton” 51%
“Cobra Kai” 50%
“The Handmaid’s Tale” 49%
“The Kominsky Method” 49%
“The Underground Railroad” 49%
“The Boys” 48%
“The Crown” 47%
“Pen15” 47%
“Ted Lasso” 46%
“Emily in Paris” 45%
“This is Us” 44%
“The Flight Attendant” 41%
“Black-ish” 38%

Awards Circuit Column: My Annual Plea for Why 10 Is the Perfect Nomination Number for Top Categories

In last week’s column, I suggested that TV Academy voters got it mostly right with the 2021 Emmy nominations. But what if I told you there was an easy way for them to get it even more mostly right?

Yes, welcome to my annual plea for the Emmys to expand some of its key categories to a nice round 10 slots. Perhaps I’m a broken record on this, but hear me out. Peak TV is still alive and well, and even in a pandemic year, the volume of original scripted fare is astronomical. Granted, basic cable has pulled back from first-run dramas and comedies, but the rise of new streaming services has made up for it — and has brought more so-called prestige fare to the forefront.

I know this is in direct contrast to the prevailing feeling this year that it was a struggle to identify enough nominees for this year’s ballots. All season long, I heard a lot of TV Academy voters and pundits bemoan a dearth of major Emmy contenders. With the COVID-19 pandemic forcing production delays on hits like HBO’s “Succession,” and past favorites like FX’s “Atlanta” taking their sweet time to return, were there even enough worthy options this year?

The TV Academy expanded the number of outstanding comedy and drama nominees to a permanent eight slots last year, but I’ll go ahead and be the contrarian and argue that it’s still not enough.

Think about it — for decades, there were just three (and maybe four, if you counted PBS) networks filling five slots in the key drama and comedy categories. Not everything was golden, but there was room to recognize most of TV’s top offerings. In 2021, the amount of eligible fare has more than doubled from those days. But the number of nominees has not.

For all this talk of comedy in crisis, look at the stellar crop of this year’s nominees: “Ted Lasso,” “Hacks,” “The Flight Attendant,” “Cobra Kai,” “The Kominsky Method,” “Black-ish,” “Pen15.” (OK, fine, and “Emily in Paris.”) And then think about the shows that didn’t make the cut but easily could have (and should have), like “Mythic Quest,” “Girls5eva,” “Superstore,” “Zoey’s Extraordinary Playlist.” You could have gotten to 10 and still had snubs.

Read the full column here.

WATCH MY SHOW: ‘UFO’ Director Mark Monroe Fills Out Our Survey

J.J. Abrams is ready to get to the bottom of unidentified flying objects, and Showtime is giving him the platform to do just that. Abrams’ Bad Robot and Glen Zipper are behind “UFO,” a four-part docu-series that will look at the phenomenon of mysterious objects in the sky and “what clandestine influence the American government, lucrative private companies and the military may have in shielding the truth behind extraterrestrial phenomena to further their own agendas.”

Mark Monroe (“Icarus”) and Paul Crowder (“Riding Giants”) will direct the series, which comes as new attention is placed on what the government knows about UFOs, and what it may or may not be telling us. The series comes in the wake of a 2017 New York Times article that revealed that the Pentagon had been secretly tracking UFOs for years. We asked Monroe to fill out our “Watch My Show!” survey and share why we should tune in.

Sum up your show’s pitch in one sentence.
A critical, but open-minded exploration of UFO and unexplained phenomena, told through the perspectives of believers and non-believers alike, that takes audiences on an exciting and often times unsettling ride.

What’s an alternate title for your show?
“UFO: Truth is Scarier than Fiction,” or my alt alt: “Are You Really Sure You Want to Believe?”

What do we need to know before tuning in?
Our series is largely inspired by the sudden seriousness of UFO coverage from credible outlets, in fact, journalistic standard bearers like The New York Times and Washington Post. We wanted to dig into these stories flooding our news cycle as well as explore the context of our very complicated history with the subject matter, while at the same time offering audiences the kind of riveting, “raise the hair on the back of your neck” storytelling they would expect from a scripted series about UFO phenomena.

Give us an equation for your show. (Blank plus blank minus blank times blank, etc.)
UFO’s and unexplained phenomena + Naval Radar images – The National Enquirer + NY Times + Eyewitness accounts – Pentagon misinformation X Bad Robot = Belief/Disbelief and almost religious fervor on both sides.

What’s the best thing someone said about your show?
Every time I think I’m pretty much settled on what I believe the truth is about UFOs, one of your characters has me doubting what I believe and tipping me over to the other side… and then the pendulum swings back again!

If you could work on any other series in TV, what would it be?
I just got back from my first family vacation in two years and we spent much of it at a big hotel in Hawaii. Having lived it, I’m going with “The White Lotus.” I have missed Mike White.

Finish this sentence: “If you like _______, you’ll love our show.”
If you like 60 Minutes and The X-Files in equal measure, you’ll love our show.

“UFO” premieres on Sunday, August 8, at 9 p.m. ET on Showtime.

Burning Emmy Question Corner: Why Is Quibi Still Credited With Nominees Now Running on Roku?

Roku scored its first-ever Emmy nominations this year, via “Die Hart,” “Mapleworth Murders” and “Reno 911!” But here’s the catch: Technically, those three shows are still credited to Quibi, since that now-dead platform was where all three programs originally appeared.

Now, next year, that may change: “Die Hart” has been renewed for Season 2, and if it returns to the Emmy race next year, that season would be identified as a Roku show. The ghost of Quibi lives on.

Here are this year’s…

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Read More:Awards HQ Aug. 2: Emmy Nominee Awareness Survey; Quibi to Roku; Univision’s Awards Show