Let me start this by making one thing clear – this is an opinion piece. It’s not right or wrong and it’s supposed to spark debate. In fact, hearing other people’s thoughts in the comments is something I’m really looking forward to.
With the nominations for the Emmy awards, TV’s biggest and most ‘prestigious’ awards ceremony, to be announced next month, an all too familiar question has been brought to mind. Do the Emmys have ‘a type’? A type of show that will inevitably garner nominations whilst others, genre TV for example, are left unrewarded for their quality and effort?
One question in particular comes to mind: are the Emmy’s unfairly prejudiced against procedural shows? In particular I’m speaking of those considered a ‘Police Procedural’.
People don’t need awards to justify their enjoyment of their favourite shows, but I feel as though it would be exactly what those who work on some of these shows deserve. The teams of writers, directors and actors right down to the police consultants and caterer’s work incredibly hard to present a show runners vision and create a show that so many people watch and love. It seems entirely unjust for almost none of them to be appreciated with TV’s biggest ‘honour’ based on some sort of stigma.
Given the number of procedurals, admittedly not all good but a fair few of them certainly are, in comparison with the number of nominations they’ve received at the Emmy’s over the years (or lack of) that’s exactly what it is: a stigma, a pre set rule almost. There’s no other way to explain the complete lack of wins or even nominations when considering just how many great procedurals there is and has been in recent years.
Maybe that’s what it is. Now that network TV is so full of them, many of them being admittedly too formulaic, they’re all put under the same bracket and stereotyped as a result. This being a recent trend makes it all the more infuriating.
In decades gone by, many of TV’s greatest procedurals were awarded with Emmys. ‘Cagney & Lacey’ (1982-88) was nominated for Outstanding Drama five times (winning twice), ‘Columbo’ (1968-2003) five times, ‘Law & Order’ (1990-2010) nine times (winning once), ‘NYPD Blue’ (1993-2005) six times (winning once) and ‘CSI: Crime Scene Investigation’ (2000-) three times early in its run. What happened? Yes, there are more procedurals now than ever meaning plenty of duds, but should the quality examples suffer as a result?
Maybe we’re now living in a new age of TV. Are audiences now going against procedurals in favour of serialized cable dramas? Well, no. Audience has nothing to do with it. The People’s choice awards proves as such, the CBS hit ‘Person Of Interest’ (2011-) winning big last year along with other network procedurals such as ‘Castle’ (2009-) and ‘The Mentalist’ (2008-) in previous years. Awards aren’t chosen by what most of us consider ‘the audience’ or ‘the people’, so why should I as one of ‘the people’ be bothered about where these awards go?
Just why I care is clear for all to see in this piece. Anyway, those belonging to the academy will, for the foreseeable future, be in favor of the shows loved most by those who are paid to ‘care’, themselves and (to a lesser extent) the critics – and we all know what they think of procedurals.
Click “next” below to read part 2…