Although we don’t exactly know which categories will be presented during this year’s Primetime Emmys ceremony on Sept. 18, it stands to reason that the show will have the same format as the past year or two, with the awards given by genre: comedy, drama, miniseries/movies, reality.
That means that a lot of categories are going to be shuffled off to the Schmemmys.
What are the Schmemmys? As we’ve mentioned before, it’s comedian and reality star Kathy Griffin‘s not-so-affectionate name for the Creative Arts Emmys ceremony. They’re held about a week before the “real” Emmys — this year, they’ll be on Sept. 10 — without any of the hoopla of the primetime ceremony. Sure, there’s a red carpet, but it’s not being covered by four different cable networks. The ceremony is at the same theater as the Emmys, but isn’t broadcast live on TV (E! has aired the ceremony on tape delay in the past) and is certainly not as glitzy. Any big star that is there as a host or presenter is perceived to be doing the poor schnooks who were nominated a favor instead of doing it to be seen.
In recent years, though, the ceremony has gone beyond the “technical” categories — cinematography, sound editing, visual effects, etc. — to incorporate every category that the Emmycast producers have deemed to be “too boring” to include in the main ceremony. This includes the outstanding reality program category that Griffin has been nominated for numerous times for “My Life On The D-List,” which is why she calls it the Schmemmys. As much as Griffin likes the D-list aspect of being shuffled off with the “nerds,” that category is one that should be awarded in the main ceremony. If reality competition shows like “Top Chef” get their moment in primetime, why can’t Kathy Griffin?
Here are some other categories that need to switch shows:
Outstanding Animated Program: Any category that rewards “The Simpsons” — even now — deserves to be in primetime. We’ve talked about why animated shows don’t get their Emmy due, but if they have to be in their own category, at least they should get some primetime attention.
Outstanding Guest Actor / Actress: This is where the academy likes to give nominations to who they perceive to be “big” stars, i.e. people who work in movies. That seems like an inferiority complex that’s been unfounded since at least the ’80s. But if they’re going to use the category as star bait, then they should put the awards on the primetime ceremony. The academy usually has the guest-acting winners present at the prime-time show, but it’s anti-climactic at best. Now we likely won’t get to see Cloris Leachman bound up on stage and perhaps pull off a Melissa Leo moment, just for the hell of it.
Outstanding Voice-Over Performance: Did you know that last year’s winner in this category was Anne Hathaway? Yes, that Anne Hathaway; she guested on “The Simpsons.” But you didn’t get to see it because it was given at the Schmemmys. At this point, wouldn’t you like to see either some big actor win for a guest part, or at least see the faces behind the voices of your favorite shows? Heck, Brenda Strong finally gets nominated after spending seven years narrating “Desperate Housewives,” and she won’t even get her moment in the sun if she wins.
Should any category go from Emmys to Schmemmys? Probably not. The academy tried to shuffle the writing categories to the Schmemmys a couple of years ago, only to get major pushback from the various writing guilds. And since all of us here are writers, we’re sympathetic to their plight. After all, without the writers, the actors would have nothing to say, right?
Which categories do you think should go from the Schmemmys to the Emmys (or vice versa)?