And they’re off! Audience Network’s ‘Mr. Mercedes’ jump-starts 2018 Emmys as first FYC mailer out of the gate

Audience Network’s latest scripted series “Mr. Mercedes” has jump-started the TV awards season by being the first Emmy FYC mailer out of the gate. The complete first season was sent out the TV academy membership back on February 6 in an effort to reach voters who may not subscribe to the premium network. In addition to the mailer, Audience Network has also scheduled an FYC screening and Q&A with select cast members in Los Angeles for Sunday, April 15.

Developed by Emmy fave David E. Kelley (“Big Little Lies,” “Ally McBeal”), “Mr. Mercedes” adapts Stephen King‘s crime novel for the small screen, with Brendan Gleeson playing retired detective Bill Hodges who’s out to find the man (relative newcomer Harry Treadaway) that killed 16 people with a stolen car. Jack Bender (“Lost”) directed most of the episodes and also serves as an executive producer along with Kelley, King, Marty Bowen and Wyck Godfrey.

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Gleeson previously won an Emmy for “Into the Storm” (2009), but he’s not the only award winner to star on “Mr. Mercedes.” Mary-Louise Parker, who portrays the sister of the Mercedes owner, prevailed for miniseries “Angels in America” (2004), while Holland Taylor, Hodges’ inquisitive neighbor, took home a trophy for Kelley’s legal drama “The Practice” (1997). Additional cast members include Kelly Lynch, Justine Lupe, Breeda Wool, Jharrel Jerome and Scott Lawrence.

All 10 episodes of “Mr. Mercedes” Season 1 have been included within the FYC mailer on three discs: “Pilot,” “On Your Mark,” “Cloudy, With a Chance of Mayhem,” “Gods Who Fall,” “The Suicide Hour,” “People in the Rain,” “Willow Lake,” “From the Ashes,” “Ice Cream, You Scream, We All Scream” and “Jibber-Jibber Chicken Dinner.” The episodes aired on Audience Network between August and October of 2017.

In recent years TV networks have benefited greatly from sending out their FYC packages as early as possible. Two years ago Constance Zimmer got an Emmy boost thanks to Lifetime distributing the entire first season of “UnReal” to the membership. And without a massive Emmy campaign for Showtime’s “Huff,” would voters have even been aware of the quirky drama that wound up winning back-to-back trophies for Blythe Danner (2005-06) as well as Best Main Title Design (2005)?

With so many new dramas in the mix this year, it’s a good thing that perennial Emmy nominees “Better Call Saul” and “House of Cards” are taking the year off. Might “Mr. Mercedes” be able to squeak into some of those open slots?

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