July 11, 2014 at 12:58 pm #322826
Fred Armisen’s nomination shed light on one of the Emmy’s dumbest rules. Variety performers have to submit in the supporting category, yet anyone who watches Portlandia can clearly see how wrong this placement is. Hopefully this attention will cause the Emmys to change this rule, and perhaps even bring back the Variety Performer category.
A somewhat similar situation occurred in the 1970’s. At that time Miniseries competed directly against ongoing Drama series in writing and directing. There was not much of a problem until the “epic miniseries” craze of the late 70’s. In the 4 ceremonies between 75-78 Miniseries took up 34/41 nomination spots, (for some reason Upstairs, Downstairs competed as a miniseries in 76, its noms are not counted.) I imagine someone with enough clout (the Lou Grant team?) said enough is enough, and starting in 1979 the mini/movie directing and writing categories were born.
Since the Variety performer category was retired in 2008 a new monopoly has formed, this time on the comedy side. In that time Saturday Night Live has received 18 nominations for “guest” actors. If Armisen’s nom allows him to submit in Lead next year that would be great. But eventually the variety performer category has to be brought back, it should have never been retired in the first place.July 11, 2014 at 1:08 pm #322828
Since the Variety performer category was retired in 2008 a new monopoly has formed, this time on the comedy side. In that time Saturday Night Live has received 18 nominations for “guest” actors. If Armisen’s nom allows him to submit in Lead next year that would be great. But eventually the variety performer category has to be brought back, it should have never been retired in the first place.
There should be two variety performer categories. One for being a regular cast member of a variety series (late night shows, Key & Peele, Portlandia, SNL, etc). And then one for being a guest on one of those shows.July 11, 2014 at 1:12 pm #322829
I could see this as the “final straw”, but then again maybe they are happy with sketch performers submitting in the supporting category.
If they brought back Variety Performer, would people like Fred Armisen get nominated? He would have to compete with all the popular talk show hosts, the “Saturday Night Live” regulars, the awards show hosts and the performers from comedy and music specials. For example this year, I think Stephen Colbert, Neil Patrick Harris and Billy Crystal would be locks for nominations.
One solution would be to introduce two categories: one for regular performers in variety and another for single performances (like specials, guest hosts on “Saturday Night Live” and people like Steve Buscemi from “Portlandia”), but the last thing the Emmys need is more acting categories.
At this point, I think they might consider amending the rule so that regulars on sketch comedies can submit in the supporting or the lead category.July 11, 2014 at 2:13 pm #322830
I think I would rather they just allow variety/sketch performers compete in lead. I don’t think there should be a separate category for variety performers. Then deserving nominees like Kate McKinnon would have to compete against talk show hosts, Neil Patrick Harris and Ellen.
Wasn’t Tracey Ullman allowed to submit in Lead a few years back, though?July 11, 2014 at 2:35 pm #322831
Separate category please!!!July 11, 2014 at 2:50 pm #322832
If variety players are staying in the acting categories, then there should be a distinction between lead and supporting roles. Otherwise, you’re going to have Amy Schumer nominated in Supporting Actress in a Comedy Series for “Inside Amy Schumer,” which is ridiculous. If separate categories are instated again, then the Individual Performance category should be split between series and specials. The series category would have to lump the late-night talk show hosts and all the sketch performers, lead and supporting, together in one category. Then the specials category would have all the awards show hosts, comedians, and musicans (yes Tina Fey and Amy Poehler, you both could lose a supposedly easy Emmy win to another Barry Manilow concert special lol). It’s all messy and not perfect solutions, but that’s likely the fairest way to deal with all of this. But I don’t see voters even addressing this as a “problem,” so the status quo will remain intact. They’ve seen nothing wrong with “SNL” hosts winning guest acting Emmys over the years, and Fred Armisen could potentially upset and win Supporting Actor in a Comedy Series.July 11, 2014 at 2:59 pm #322833
Variety must be reinstated and no voters really seem to like variety performers against actors anywayJuly 11, 2014 at 5:21 pm #322834
I agree with the notion of bringing back variety performers. Totally unfair to make sketch performers compete against actors in a continuing narative series…not to mention dissing singers in the process. 2 variety performer categories like suggested above and if they (the academy) feels they have too many performer cats then go back to the mid 80s and make the guest cats gender free. Abosultely no need to separate them.
…and off subject place some better rules on the guest cats…I’m sick of what are obvious regular series cast members being nominated there…I’m looking at you ORANGE IS THE NEW BLACK and sooooo many others since the 90’s.
PS. They can also get rid of the stupid reality show host cat…what a watse of metal.July 11, 2014 at 5:38 pm #322835
I say bring back the Variety performer award too, they never should have gotten rid of it.July 11, 2014 at 6:19 pm #322836
I don’t care, the fact that Fred Armisen made it in made my day.July 11, 2014 at 6:50 pm #322837
The nomination is ridiculous.
For example, I’m ok with McKinnon and the rest of the SNL cast because they are supporting performers in a very ensemble cast. It’s still scripted even if they get to improvise here and there (C.K, David, Hines) and it’s still a regular tv show.
While I don’t get why Portlandia is a Variety Series, that’s another issue, the main issue with Armisen is that he’s a fucking lead actor in Portlandia. So if they really want these people to submit as regular actors then allow them to submit in the correct categories. Just like Amy Schummer who also had to be placed in Supporting Actress and like Tracy Ullman a bunch of years ago.
As we have said before in other threads in other years, there should be two categories: for regular actors (SNL or people like Schummer and Armisen, Conan, Fallon) and a one time appearance Harris, Jackman for the Tonys, Poehler/Fey who should be allowed to submit together and the SNL guest actors.July 12, 2014 at 9:37 am #322838
Aw, no poll? I would have voted yes.July 12, 2014 at 1:44 pm #322839
No. Do you understand that there are 93 Emmy nominees for acting this year taking up 96 available slots? Do you also understand that every year, 20 actors are nominated for Oscars? Emmys are no longer what they use to be because they’re so easy to get, comparatively. We don’t need more performance categories. We need less.July 12, 2014 at 1:48 pm #322840
I care so little about this. I’m really surprised people are this upset about Armisen’s nod, actually.July 12, 2014 at 1:57 pm #322841
I agree that they should just let performers on sketch comedy shows submit in either lead or supporting. Obviously people like Schumer, Armisen, Brownstein, Key, Peele and Ullman if her series were still around would (hopefully) all go lead, while the SNL cast could stay in supporting. I’ve no personal problem at all with SNL hosts getting nominated in Guest even though a change would certainly allow some deserving guest comedy actors on traditional shows to get nominated.