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Do pilots make good submissions?

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  • nahborghi
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    #290388

    This year, there’s a lot of new blood in various categories, but it seems that most of the nominees who are in new shows decided to go with the pilot: Connie Britton, Jeff Daniels, Kevin Spacey and Vera Farmiga. We know that the writing and directing branches love pilots, but is the best strategy for newcommers to submit the introduction of their characters?

    Since 1998, 19 actors and actresses submitted the very first chapter of their shows. Edie Falco, Toni Collette, Bryan Cranston, America Ferrera, Glenn Close, Felicity Huffman, Micheal Chiklis and Sela Ward ended up bringing home the trophy, while Michelle Forbes, Laura Linney, Simon Baker, Minnie Driver, Geena Davis, Amber Tamblyn, Frances Conroy, James Gandolfini, Nancy Marchand, Kirstie Alley and Don Cheadle lost their respective prizes.

    What do you guys think? Submitting pilots this year will hurt or benefit these 4 actors?

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    Karl William
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    #290390

    I really depends on the episode. Brian Cranston has a nice long episode that gave him a lot of range and an already intrguing storyline. America Ferrera got a nice mix of comedy and drama. I don’t know about Britton, but it is truely Daniels’ and Farmiga’s best episodes. Spacey on the other hand had a nice storyline that also set up the story, but he had better material later.

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    SaraR
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    #290391

    Right, I really think it depends. I think for people like Farmiga and Britton it was smart because voters are probably not watching each episode so if they’d submitted a later episode in a serialized show it could be confusing and the performance less effective. (I think this is also more applicable to drama than comedy, where problems with serialization are less severe.)

    Also, yes, sometimes the best episode really is the pilot.

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    Riley
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    #290392

    It is also worth noting that even if Jeff Daniels wins this year with a pilot, it still means that a pilot lost because of Kevin Spacey.

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    flarey1
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    #290393

    Leads should almost always submit the Pilot because it eliminates the risk of turning a voter off due to them not being caught up or unable to get a firm grasp on the current plot. As long as the actor is the main character in the episode, a decent pilot gives them the best chance of the win, whether or not it’s their best episode.

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    SaraR
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    #290394

    Leads should almost always submit the Pilot because it eliminates the risk of turning a voter off due to them not being caught up or unable to get a firm grasp on the current plot. As long as the actor is the main character in the episode, a decent pilot gives them the best chance of the win, whether or not it’s their best episode.

    And yet the two leads on first-year shows who won last year submitted the penultimate and final episode of the season.

    So I think it varies based on the situation.

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    Riley
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    #290395

    Yeah, I strongly disagree with submitting a pilot “just ’cause”.  It is not even necessarily true for writing and directing.  Remember when House upset with “Three Stories”?

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    sorcery
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    #290396

    In Julianna Margulies’ case, many felt she would have won in 2010 had she gone with the pilot and not “Threesome.”

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    Atypical
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    #290397

    Historically, yes, but this might be a case where “it’s a good idea until it isn’t.” With panels being as fickle as they are, sometimes they go for pilots, and clearly sometimes they don’t. But if it’s true that voters don’t watch most of the shows they’re nominating on a regular basis, then at least in the acting categories, it helps to submit episodes where your work requires no backstories or season-long arcs for full understanding and impact. That doesn’t mean that some other nominee in the field doesn’t have a blowout episode to submit that could have come from anywhere in the season, but each panel each year is the luck of the draw in the end. The safe bet is to go with pilots in most cases I think, and I’m not surprised that there are so many contenders going that route this year.

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    Marcus Dixon
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    #290398

    Jennifer Garner also submitted the pilot of “Alias,” titled “Truth Be Told.”

    She lost to Allison Janney (“The West Wing”) for “The Women of Qumar.” Sigh.

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    Karl William
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    #290399

    In Julianna Margulies’ case, many felt she would have won in 2010 had she gone with the pilot and not “Threesome.”

    That’s a different case. People thought she should have submitted the Pilot because she did her best work. Threesome was a pretty crappy submission. It’s not a fool proof system of, you submit the Pilot you win or you submit the Pilot and your chances are better than any other episode.

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    Emmys2011
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    #290400

    I do think its a good idea if the pilot was good and there weren´t many other showcase episodes for the person. This year the pilots made amazing submissions for vera farmiga and jeff daniels, connie britton kinda, and aparently that is not the case for kevin spacey.

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    Emmys2011
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    #290401

    I do think its a good idea if the pilot was good and there weren´t many other showcase episodes for the person. This year the pilots made amazing submissions for vera farmiga and jeff daniels, connie britton kinda, and aparently that is not the case for kevin spacey.

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    Marcus Snowden (The Artist Formerly Known as msnowden1)
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    #290402

    I think that James Gandolfini lost in 1999 with “Pilot” because of really stiff competition. He lost to Dennis Franz for the episode “Safe Home”, in which he grieves his wife’s death. 

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    A Person
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    #290403

    I think that James Gandolfini lost in 1999 with “Pilot” because of really stiff competition. He lost to Dennis Franz for the episode “Safe Home”, in which he grieves his wife’s death. 

    Franz also had the advantage of having two submissions with Jimmy Smits in the same category; and in Smits’ tape Franz got to grieve Smits’ death.

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