Emmy nominations balloting is now underway, and the 19,000 voting members of the television academy have two weeks to sort through the mind-blowing list of potential nominees spread over more than 100 categories.
There were about 8,000 submitted entries for the 2016 Emmys, says Television Academy Chairman and Chief Executive Bruce Rosenblum, up from about 6,500 last year. Part of that can be pinned on this year’s addition of three short-form series categories, recognizing programs, mostly digital, that run 15 minutes or less.
But mostly, the hundreds of additional Emmy entries are the result of more distribution platforms producing more shows, resulting in a pileup of programming that, short of propping your eyelids open around the clock, defeats even the most committed viewer.
“I can’t even begin to watch everything I should be watching,” says Tony Hale, a two-time Emmy winner for his work on HBO’s “Veep.” “It makes getting nominated among all the other great shows and performances all the more astounding.”
To stand out in this crowded field, networks and programmers have been trotting out shows’ stars and producers on a daily basis at costly campaign events and parties aimed at voters. On Sunday, for example, academy members broke bread over a brunch with Billy Eichner from TruTV’s “Billy on the Street” at the Hollywood Roosevelt Hotel. Later this week, HBO is hosting a Father’s Day blowout at the Ace Hotel.
“I guess no one’s having dinner at home these days,” jokes Emmy-nominated “Last Man on Earth” star Will Forte, referring to the dozens of for-your-consideration events that have been happening in the past month.
Emmy nominations will be announced July 14.
The 2016 Emmys will air on Sept. 18 at 5 p.m (Pacific) on ABC.