Emmy Nominations: Which Titles Are Winners by Demand?

29 July, 2016

In this analysis, we look at the audience demand for Emmy nominated series in 2016 to evaluate these shows by demand.

The nominations for the 68th Primetime Emmy Awards were announced on July 14th, recognizing the usual suspects (Game of Thrones received 23 overall nominations), outstanding newcomers (The People v. O.J. Simpson picked up 13 major nominations), and deserving veterans (The Americans got its first nominations for best drama, lead actor and actress). While the winners will be awarded in September, we can assess the nominated series in the by their demand. We found last year that winning an Emmy can have a significant positive impact on the demand for a title around the world; which shows have the most to gain from winning their category and which are already winners by demand?

Outstanding Drama Series

The median Demand Expressions™ in the US are found for each title during its latest Emmy-eligible (between June 1st, 2015 and May 31st, 2016) season. Unsurprisingly, Game of Thrones dominates the list of nominated drama series:

The reigning champion had over three times more demand than the other drama series during its sixth season. Nearly a month after its finale, it is still the top show in the United States; if any show does not need additional exposure from the Emmys, it is Game of Thrones. However, the other entries could use a boost in demand to distinguish themselves. While Better Call Saul has 46% more demand than the rest of the field, the others, including the Golden-Globe-winning Mr. Robot, have very similar demand. The veteran title The Americans ranks last by demand but was universally praised by critics. Time will tell if Emmy voters will reward popularity or critical acclaim.

Outstanding Comedy Series

The demand for Emmy-nominated comedy series is closer than for the dramas:

Silicon Valley, HBO’s lead-out of Game of Thrones, has over 30% more demand than Netflix’s comedies Master of None and Unbreakable Kimmy Schmidt (for the digital originals released on a single day, the median demand for the month after its release is used in the ranking). While Veep, which followed Silicon Valley on the air, has much less demand, it won the category last year. Another former winner, Modern Family, is also in contention. The newcomer Black-ish and former nominee Transparent have less than half the demand of most of the other comedies, but as we have seen, demand is not necessary to win.

Outstanding Limited Series

As with the full-length dramas, one of the limited series nominees dominates by demand:

Fargo had nearly twice the demand during its run as any of the other limited series, which have much more similar demand. While American Crime was the only returning nominee from last year, Fargo won two years ago when it was last eligible. The miniseries Roots and The Night Manager have the lowest demand of the group, perhaps because their short runs prevented much buzz from forming. However, if The Night Manager, along with Fargo and The People v. O.J. Simpson, do not win this category, they have many more opportunities: The People v. O.J. Simpson was nominated for 12 other awards, Fargo was nominated for 7 others, and The Night Manager for 5 others.

Outstanding Reality-Competition Program

Demand for the reality titles is dramatically split:

Song and dance clearly dominate, as The Voice and Dancing with the Stars have 288% more demand than the other, more niche-interest, reality shows. The only newcomer to this category is NBC’s American Ninja Warrior: all the other titles have been nominated continually for the last four years. As with all categories, demand does not necessarily translate to wins: though the top-ranked Voice (by both demand and linear viewership) won last year, the low-demand and low-viewed Amazing Race has won ten times in the last twelve years.

The Emmy nominees this year range from massively popular titles, by both demand and linear views, to critically acclaimed series to little-known web series. No matter their demand during their latest season, it could increase if they win their category. We will continue to track the nominees’ demand and report on the winners after the Emmys on September 18th.

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