Blog Post

Primetime Emmys Notice the Internet

Buried in yesterday’s Primetime Emmy nominations was the growing acknowledgment by oldteevee that maybe, just maybe, this TV-on-the-Internet thing’s here to stay. Using the categorization “Special Class Program” (which lumps online video in with live opera broadcasts and awards shows), the shorts lucky enough to be recognized by the Academy are studio-produced tie-ins with network or cable series; still, it’s some sort of progress. Here are the web-relevant categories — and the nominees:


  • Battlestar Galactica: Razor Featurette #4 – (Sci Fi
  • Friday Night Lights: Spotlight On Austin – (
  • Lost: Missing Pieces – (
  • Sarah Silverman Program Nugget – (
  • 30 Rock: Kenneth The Web Page – (


  • Deadliest Catch: The Real Dutch (
  • Great Moments From The Campaign Trail (History ChannelVOD)
  • Jay Leno’s Garage (

Jimmy Kimmel Live also had a good night thanks to I’m F—ing Matt Damon/I’m F—ing Ben Affleck, which were nominated for Outstanding Original Music And Lyrics (just Matt Damon) and Outstanding Picture Editing Of Clip Packages For Talk, Performance, Award Or Reality Competition Programs (Single or Multi-Camera) (both shorts).

And there’s also a jury prize being awarded for Outstanding Creative Achievement in Interactive Media; the finalists are:


  • HBO Voyeur
  • Kyle XY: The Collective Experience
  • The Heroes Digital Experience
  • Lost Find 815
  • The L Word Interactive


  • America’s Player Interactive
  • Bravo Media’s Project Runway
  • Bravo Media’s Top Chef
  • Dancing with the Stars Multi-Platform Experience
  • Disney Channel Games Digital Media Event

So, who’s tops in your Emmy pool?

9 Responses to “Primetime Emmys Notice the Internet”

  1. Harlan Talbot

    LonelyGirl 15 entered this the Interactive Media competition this year and was eligible to win. Programming that was commercially available during the eligibility period of 6/1/07 and 5/31/08 could enter the competition:

    And to Clay in the first comment – Television Academy members can enter their programming in the Primetime Emmy Awards competition and their entry fee is waived. You can’t win if you don’t enter and if you don’t join the Academy and vote…well…I think you know what I’m saying. I’m at a loss to understand how reaching out to independent producers and soliciting entries from the bband world at large is ‘ugly’ in any way.

  2. It will take a little time, I think, for the non-studio productions to catch the attention of the Academy. And to the point made about “lonelygirl15” – that series, “Prom Queen,” and “Satacracy 88” were not eligible for this year’s Emmys. The shows had to premiere after June 2007, and they all debuted long before that. Despite the absence of independent productions, it IS very exciting and encouraging that the Academy is moving towards recognizing internet entertainment as legitimate !

  3. I actually saw the list of all the entrants into the Emmy Awards short form content… and it was very small. There really wasn’t a lot of independent entrants, one big reason is probably because it was so expensive to enter and it would be thrown in with studio content… both the daytime and primetime emmy awards blew it with their infighting, because last year the daytime awards totally nailed the award with the outstanding broadband drama… that was total independent productions between big fantastic’s “prom queen” and’s “satacracy 88”, as well as mandt bros. “tim’s dates” and something else in the drama category, and in the comedy, nbc’s the office took home the award, so it was a nice mixture of production. I will say that last year’s broadband drama independent productions hold a way higher production value than most independent productions, satacracy 88 has yet to be matched on a production value stand, the closest something has come was big fantastic’s foreign body. It seems that online video production value should be held to some kind of standard to be awarded an emmy, which is why it’s great last year’s entrants were nominated. I also noticed that Satacracy 88 was also nominated by the daytime category again this year for “new approaches”, and the winning video in that category was barrack obama’s yes i can thing with the celebs. An odd mix of productions, but at least they gave props to an indie online series again. This past year since Satacracy 88 and Prom Queen were nominated and it became something people thought was a possibility, nothing else really came out at the same level as those shows, so maybe next year there will be something indie nominated, but it’s probably going to be something big fantastic or those satacracy guys do, cause no one else really seems to try and make a quality online video other than the studios.

  4. Marcia Zellers

    As a member of the Interactive Emmy Awards Committee, I can tell you that we care very much about the recognition of independent content right alongside the studio content. And this comment is in some ways a plea to the members of the independent community to join the Academy and get involved in the Interactive Media Peer Group. You may or may not know that the entries are judged by the members of the Interactive Media Peer Group, and the finalists are a direct result of those votes. As Geoff alluded to, we were kind of surprised with the results too. I can speculate as to the many reasons why the studio content ended up filling the finalist rosters — one which would be, of course, that’s it’s really good content. But it’s also striking that the membership of the Interactive Media Peer Group is lacking in members from the independent community. And like any membership organization with juried awards, the results are a reflection of the membership. We hope that by next year, many of you in the independent community will get involved in the TV Academy and vote for interactive excellence alongside the rest of your peers in the industry when it’s time for 2009 voting. The results may or may not be different, but at least they will take into account a more diverse point of view.

  5. When I was looking into this issue yesterday, I asked Geoff Katz, the chair of the Interactive Media Peer Group, if indie content even stood a chance for those two awards. He replied that it did, and he would have hoped one of the entrants would have been a finalist. Quote follows:

    “In particular I thought that LonelyGirl 15 from EQAL was a
    groundbreaking and outstanding entry and was surprised that it didn’t
    make it into the Finals. Right now, the Interactive Media Peer Group
    is probably weighted heavily towards people that work for the
    interactive media departments at the big traditional programming
    distributors…I hope that over the next couple of years there’s
    better bband original programming (not just short form delivered on
    bband – but truly interactive programming formats) and more folks from
    the new tee vee world joining the Academy of Television Arts &
    Sciences – that would change the mix and I believe result in more
    diverse entries, finalists and winners. BTW…last year, Current TV
    was recognized and they kind of bridge the gap between the old and new
    worlds now.”

  6. It certainly is telling that these are studio-only selections. As an independent producer, I could either a) complain that this is just another way the system is keeping it “in the family,” or b) figure out why these online shorts work and why most online fare doesn’t.

    30 Rock, Lost, and BSG are all some of my favorite TV shows, but I don’t have the same level of fandom for any online show… why is that? What is that magical ingredient online content is lacking… certainly it’s not production values or talent. Perhaps it’s viewing experience (couch vs. desk).

    In any case, I’m excited about being in online content, Emmy nod or not.