Writing/Directing/Editing/Sound: Key to Winning Series?

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  • Riley
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    #252925

    People always say that you need a writing or directing nomination to win series.  At the Oscars, you apparently also need an editing nomination.  I have compiled the results of the last fifteen Emmys, so that you may judge what nominations you actually do need so that we may better predict the series races.

    I also looked at sound mixing.  My theory about the editing and sound mixing categories—and this may offend some—is that people do not really know what they are judging, so people tend to just vote for their favourite shows in these categories with a bit of a bias toward “genre” fare (Lost, 24).  Basically, I think that these categories are good indicators of how much support a show has.

    In the end, the results are not entirely conclusive, but may be good food for thought.  Does anyone have any observations?

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    Riley
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    #252927

    These statistics may be particularly insightful this year, as the comedy frontrunner Modern Family
    has missed out on a writing nomination.  In the last fifteen years,
    just three comedies have won series without a writing nomination and the
    last time that that happened was ten years ago in 2002.  Curb Your Enthusiasm, which I believe to be the primary dark horse, also does not have a writing nomination, because it is ineligible there.

    In the last fifteen years, just one comedy has won series without a writing or directing nomination (Friends in 2002) and no comedies have won series without a writing, directing, editing or sound nomination, so that easily takes out Veep, which was not nominated in any of those four categories.

    For
    comedies, editing actually might be the most important category.  Only
    two comedies won series from the last fifteen years without an editing
    nomination, compared to three for sound, three for writing and four for
    directing.  And one of the two comedies to miss editing was Sex and the City,
    which had to compete against dramas in the single-camera category due
    to the way shows were categorized in 2001.  If it were a contender in
    2012, it surely would have been nominated in the single-camera comedy
    editing category.  Directing might not actually be that important; then
    again, the last time that a comedy won without it was 2006.  And no
    comedy has won series without a sound nomination since 2004.  Girls, the only comedy to achieve the series-writing-directing trifecta this year, actually missed out on both editing and sound.  Sex and the City
    is the only comedy in the last fifteen years to win without a sound or
    an editing nomination, but it did have both writing and directing, just
    like Girls.  People already say that Girls is the new Sex and the City and if it wins, there will be even more to support that.

    This year, Modern Family is nominated for directing, editing and sound.  Curb Your Enthusiasm is nominated for directing and editing.  Girls is nominated for writing and directing.  30 Rock is nominated for editing and sound.  The Big Bang Theory is nominated for editing.  Veep has no writing, directing, editing or sound nominations.

    Comedies that won series without a writing nomination (comedies that were nominated for series and writing):
    2002: Friends (Everybody Loves Raymond, Sex and the City)
    2000: Will & Grace (Everybody Loves Raymond, Frasier, Sex and the City)
    1997: Frasier (The Larry Sanders Show, Seinfeld)

    Comedies that won series without a directing nomination (comedies that were nominated for series and directing):
    2006: The Office (Curb Your Enthusiasm)
    2003: Everybody Loves Raymond (Curb Your Enthusiasm, Sex and the City, Will & Grace)
    2002: Friends (Curb Your Enthusiasm, Sex and the City, Will & Grace)
    1998: Frasier (Ally McBeal, The Larry Sanders Show, 3rd Rock from the Sun)

    Comedies that won series without an editing nomination (comedies that were nominated for series and editing):
    2007: 30 Rock (The Office)
    2001: Sex and the City (Everybody Loves Raymond, Frasier, Will & Grace)

    Comedies that won series without a sound nomination (comedies that were nominated for series and sound):
    2004: Arrested Development (Everybody Loves Raymond, Will & Grace)
    2001: Sex and the City (Everybody Loves Raymond, Frasier)
    2000: Will & Grace (Frasier, Friends, Sex and the City)

    Comedies that won series without a writing or directing nomination (comedies that were nominated for series, writing and directing):
    2002: Friends (Sex and the City)

    Comedies that won series without a writing, directing, editing or sound nomination:
    none

    Comedies that won series without an editing or sound nomination (comedies that were nominated for series, editing and sound):
    2001: Sex and the City (Everybody Loves Raymond, Frasier)

    Comedies that were nominated for series, writing, directing, editing and sound (if none, what the comedy that won series was nominated for):
    2011: Modern Family
    2010: Modern Family, 30 Rock
    2009: 30 Rock
    2008: The Office, 30 Rock
    2007: The Office (30 Rock writing and directing and sound)
    2006: none (The Office writing and editing and sound)
    2005: Everybody Loves Raymond
    2004: none (Arrested Development writing and directing and editing)
    2003: none (Everybody Loves Raymond writing and editing and sound)
    2002: Everybody Loves Raymond, Will & Grace (Friends editing and sound)
    2001: none (Sex and the City writing and directing)
    2000: none (Will & Grace directing and editing)
    1999: Ally McBeal
    1998: Ally McBeal, The Larry Sanders Show (Frasier writing and editing and sound)
    1997: The Larry Sanders Show (Frasier directing and editing and sound)

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    Riley
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    #252928

    This year, both Downton Abbey and Homeland are nominated for writing, directing, editing and sound.  Mad Men is nominated for writing, directing and editing.  Breaking Bad is nominated for directing, editing and sound.  Game of Thrones is nominated for sound.  Boardwalk Empire is nominated for directing.

    In
    the last fifteen years, like on the comedy side, no drama has won
    series without at least one writing, directing, editing or sound
    nomination.  The Practice is the only drama to win with just a sound nomination (see Game of Thrones this year), but that was all the way back in 1999 and as Game of Thrones is “genre”, unlike The Practice, it really should have gotten that nomination.  To Breaking Bad‘s favour, three dramas have won series without writing nominations, but two of those were The Practice in 1999 (it only got sound) and Law & Order way back in 1997 (it got editing and sound).  The most recent example was 24 in 2006, which, like Breaking Bad,
    missed writing, but did get nominated for writing, directing and
    sound.  Sound does not seem to be as important on the drama side like it
    is on the comedy side, as Mad Men has only ever been nominated
    for it once, in 2011 for “The Suitcase”, so five of the last fifteen
    drama series winners have done it without a sound nomination.  Mad Men could very well do it again this year or perhaps that Downton Abbey and Homeland were able to boot it from its spot this year suggests greater support for them.

    In
    the eleven of the last fifteen years that at least one drama was
    nominated for all of series, writing, directing, editing and sound, four
    times did one of those not win.  Three of those times were in the late
    1990s, so perhaps are not as important; the fourth time was
    sound-challenged Mad Men in 2010 when Lost did manage series, writing, directing, editing and sound nominations and lost.

    Dramas that won series without a writing nomination (dramas that were nominated for series and writing):
    2006: 24 (Grey’s Anatomy, The Sopranos)
    1999: The Practice (NYPD Blue, The Sopranos)
    1997: Law & Order (ER, NYPD Blue, The X-Files)

    Dramas that won series without a directing nomination (dramas that were nominated for series and directing):
    2011: Mad Men (Boardwalk Empire, Game of Thrones)
    1999: The Practice (Law & Order, NYPD Blue, The Sopranos)
    1998: The Practice (ER, NYPD Blue, The X-Files)
    1997: Law & Order (ER, NYPD Blue, The X-Files)

    Dramas that won series without a writing or directing nomination (dramas that were nominated for series, writing and directing):
    1999: The Practice (NYPD Blue, The Sopranos)
    1997: Law & Order (ER, NYPD Blue, The X-Files)

    Dramas that won series without an editing nomination (dramas that were nominated for series and editing):
    2008: Mad Men (Boston Legal, Lost)
    1999: The Practice (ER, The Sopranos)
    1998: The Practice (ER, The X-Files)

    Dramas that won series without a sound nomination (dramas that were nominated for series and sound):
    2010: Mad Men (Dexter, Lost)
    2009: Mad Men (House, Lost)
    2008: Mad Men (Boston Legal, Dexter, Lost)
    2002: The West Wing (CSI: Crime Scene Investigation, Six Feet Under, 24)
    1998: The Practice (ER, NYPD Blue, The X-Files)

    Dramas
    that won series without a writing, directing or editing nomination
    (dramas that were nominated for writing, directing and editing):
    1999: The Practice (The Sopranos)

    Dramas that won series without a writing, directing, editing or sound nomination:
    none

    Dramas
    that were nominated for series, writing, directing, editing and sound
    (if none, what the drama that won series was nominated for):
    2011: none (Mad Men writing and editing and sound)
    2010: Lost (Mad Men writing and directing and editing)
    2009: none (Mad Men writing and directing and editing)
    2008: none (Mad Men writing and directing)
    2007: The Sopranos
    2006: none (24 directing and editing and sound)
    2005: Lost
    2004: The Sopranos
    2003: The Sopranos, The West Wing
    2002: 24, The West Wing
    2001: The Sopranos, The West Wing
    2000: The Sopranos, The West Wing
    1999: The Sopranos (The Practice sound)
    1998: The X-Files (The Practice writing)
    1997: ER, The X-Files (Law & Order editing and sound)

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    iskolar
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    #252929

    I think this works more at the Oscars, but good research on your part, thedemonhog.

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    Madson Melo
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    #252930

    great research!

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    AmberK
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    #252931

    I love Homeland dearly, but it did not deserve an editing nomination this year.  Many of the episodes had some horribly mismatched cuts, and the editors deserved a spanking for that.  It is especially noticeable in Q&A.  I am not surprised at all it got snubbed there.  Does bad editing mean it can’t win best drama?  I guess I have no idea, but I’m still counting it on to win, though at this point I will admit Breaking Bad does seem to have some advantages in this race.  Missing out on casting is probably not a big deal for them at this point.  I still think that the voters are waiting to vote for it next year though.  We’ve only seen half a season so far, let’s see how the rest of it plays out.  Then give it an Emmy for its final season as a reward for all its great episodes over the years.  If I were a voter, that would be my mindset on the whole thing.  I love Breaking Bad.  I want to see it win for its final year.

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    Riley
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    #252932

    Homeland is probably the worst show that I watch in terms of mismatched cuts.  It was very present in earlier episodes like “The Weekend” as well.  I actually thought that they improved in the second season, but maybe I just grew tired of noticing it.

    All right, everyone, check out my most statistics-heavy and possibly groundbreaking article yet!

    http://www.goldderby.com/news/4602/emmys-best-drama-game-of-thrones-breaking-bad-entertainment-news-72471131.html

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    SaraR
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    #252933

    The mismatched cuts drive me crazy (though I’ve never noticed them on first viewing). But in their three submissions this year (“State of Independence,” “The Choice,” “Q&A”) I don’t actually recall anything too egregious.

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    SaraR
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    #252934

    I also really liked your article, Riley! Very informative. Funny that “The Practice” just defies all these trends! Ha!

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    Morgan Henard
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    #252935

    Great great job, Riley. I love the amount of research that comes along with your articles. 

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    Riley
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    #252936

    The Practice in 1998 and 1999 really messes up everything.  Next year’s article or the year after that will be much more convincing.  Or maybe I should have based this article around “this millenium” instead of the last fifteen years.

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    Morgan Henard
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    #252937

    The Practice in 1998 and 1999 really messes up everything.  Next year’s article or the year after that will be much more convincing.  Or maybe I should have based this article around “this millenium” instead of the last fifteen years.

    Further proof of how shocking it is that The Sopranos didn’t win for its debut season.  

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    Lord Freddy Blackfyre
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    #252938

    After readind this threat i found the victory of The Practice over the first season of The Sopranos even more outrageous.

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    Choice Chayawat
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    #252939

    Wonder if The Sopranos had won in its first year, would it have been able to snatch one or two wins from The West Wing during 2000, 2001 and 2003?

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    Atypical
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    #252940

    I’m trying to see why any of this matters for the Emmys where different panels do different things. The sound mixers have nothing to do with writing in a comedy series or Comedy Series. Maybe it’s an indication of overall sentiment, but even that can be specious, like when “Mad Men” only won Drama Series and hairstyling with all of its nods, or “TWW”‘s fourth win and a tech. This works better for the Oscars when everyone votes for nearly everything, for better or worse.

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