WGN’s ‘Manhattan’ is first DVD shipped to Emmy voters

If Emmy competition is war – and it is – then it’s significant to note that the first salvo of the new campaign season was just fired by WGN America’s TV series about the secret U.S. project to create the first atom bomb. Last week “Manhattan” became the first program to send DVDs to Emmy voters.

It was a high caliber package: WGN shipped all 13 episodes of the first season to the full TV academy (16,000 members). In the past, getting DVDs out early proved to be a successful strategy for Showtime, FX, AMC, NBC and other networks in the fight. And being generous with the number of episodes helped “Mad Men,” “Damages” and “Friday Night Lights” to score nominations for Best Drama Series.

Up until recently, WGN America was identified as a flagship of the Tribune Company’s cluster of local broadcast TV stations, but now it ballyhoos itself as a new cable network reaching 73 million homes in major markets like Chicago, Philadelphia, Los Angeles, Seattle, Washington D.C. and other big cities.

WGN America’s ‘Manhattan’ wins SXSW prize for Excellence in Title Design
Manhattan” is a coproduction with Lionsgate and Skydance Productions and boasts major marquee talent like director Tommy Schlamme (3 episodes) and star John Benjamin Hickey (“The Big C,” “Flags of Our Fathers”; Tony Award winner for “The Normal Heart”) as one of the key scientists working at Los Alamos, New Mexico, during the 1940s. The program’s drama centers on how those scientists and their families coped with living secret lives in the desert while building the Manhattan Project.

“Manhattan” has an excellent score of 78 at Metacritic and has been declared “TV season’s secret weapon” (Time), “best new show” (Daily Beast) and “Emmy-ready” (Us Weekly).

Click through the photo gallery below to see more views of the “Manhattan” DVD mailer.


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