Reframing the Emmys based on U.S. Audience TV Series Popularity

20 July, 2018

On Thursday 12th July 2018, the nominations for the 70th Primetime Emmys were announced.

While the winners will not be known until September 17th 2018, the nominations themselves reveal much about the current state of the television content industry.

While Emmy wins are of course awarded for artistic merit and talent, what if the awards for “best show” were given out instead based on how popular a title is?

To see how each category would shake out, Parrot Analytics has leveraged its global TV demand datasets to calculate the average U.S. demand for every show, in each of the categories, over the Emmy eligibility period of 1st June 2017 to 31st May 2018.

While our findings may not align with how well each title will fare in the official awards ceremony in September, we believe our analysis provides an interesting look at how well each of these highly regarded shows are actually doing with American audiences.

Outstanding Drama Series

It should be no surprise to anyone that HBO’s mega-hit Game Of Thrones is the very clear demand winner of the Best Drama category, with over double the demand of the next most in-demand show, Netflix’s Stranger Things, over the Emmy eligibility period.

Outstanding Comedy Series

Picking a demand winner for the comedy series is not nearly as clear cut. Although FX’s Atlanta does lead the pack, there are only a few percentage points separating this title from the next-most popular contenders from HBO: Silicon Valley and Barry.

Outstanding Limited Series

Based on its U.S. popularity, TNT’s The Alienist should take home the trophy for Limited Series, although it would not be wise to discount National Geographic’s Genius: Picasso or any of the others. More than any other, this category tends to be wide open.

Outstanding Reality Competition Program

Deciding the winner of the Reality Competition category is a real “two horse race”: NBC’s The Voice has a slight lead on VH1’s RuPaul’s Drag Race, while the rest of the pack trails.

Outstanding Variety Sketch Series

Even more than the Drama category, Variety Sketch is dominated by one show according to our demand data over the Emmys eligibility period: NBC’s Saturday Night Live has over four times the demand of the distant second placed title, IFC’s Portlandia.

Outstanding Variety Talk Series

For the nominated Variety Talk shows, Trevor Noah would be sitting at his desk very comfortably if the awards were decided by demand, as Comedy Central’s The Daily Show is the clear frontrunner, with nearly a third more demand than ABC’s Jimmy Kimmel Live!

The competition between second and third place in this category is much closer as Jimmy Kimmel Live! and HBO’s Last Week Tonight With John Oliver are separated by less than 10,000 Demand Expressions (DEX), a razor-thin margin when each has averaged nearly 10 million daily DEX over the eligibility period.

In the end, no matter who wins at the actual award ceremony – whether it is the titles predicted by U.S. audience demand or not – all the 2018 nominees are great shows that would undoubtedly deserve a win.

For more information about trends in award-winning television series, reach out to Parrot Analytics for a live demonstration our Demand Portal, or watch our latest product video.

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