Emmy Mailers: An Inside Look at How TV Shows Woo Voters
3:36 PM PDT 6/5/2012 by Lesley Goldberg, Chris Godley
The race for Emmy nominations heats up as TV Academy members are enticed with screeners delivered in increasingly creative packaging -- including a children's book, a "Douche Bag jar" and pop-out maps.
From Glee's Ryan Murphy and Brad Falchuk FX's horror anthology consideration DVDs come packaged in an appropriately tight-fitting shiny cardboard pouch that emulates a Rubber Man suit. The 10-plus page booklet includes a screener with four episodes: the pilot, "Piggy Piggy" with guest star Eric Stonestreet, "Smoldering Children" and "Birth."
Fox's "Family Guy"
Inside, the Family Guy mailer includes four episodes of the series and Family Guy's Stewie noting: "It's a secret ballot. You can still tell people you voted for Modern Family."
The front cover for Fox's controversial Emmy mailer for Family Guy features an ad that both The Hollywood Reporter and Variety rejected that reads, "Come on, you bloated, overprivileged Brentwood Jews. Let us into your little club." While the show has picked up five Emmys, it has never won for outstanding comedy series and received its only nomination in the category in 2009. Seth MacFarlane has served as Family Guy's showrunner during its entire run.
FX Networks sent 40-page booklets -- with five DVDs -- promotoing all of its series: American Horror Story, Justified, Sons of Anarchy, Rescue Me, Louie, It's Always Sunny in Philadelphia, The Legue, Wilfred, Archer, Unsupervised and a final DVD for Louis C.K.'s Live at the Beacon Theatre stand-up special, which originally debuted online.
Fox took a point from Glee's "Yes/No" episode and used it for a 3D Emmy mailer featuring Will's (Matthew Morrison) walk-on-water swimming pool marriage proposal to Emma (Jayma Mays). The episode -- as well as "Asian F" and "Hold On to Sixteen" are the episodes being submitted in the enclosed DVD.
Showtime's Homeland mailer plays off the terrorism drama's complex "is he or isn't he" story line for Damian Lewis' Brody and features the soldier on one side and his secret world on the other. Submitted episodes include the pilot, "Grace," "Clean Skin" and "Semper I."
CBS' "How I Met Your Mother"
Barney's (Neil Patrick Harris) hideous ducky tie is front and center on the fold-out mailer for CBS' How I Met Your Mother mailer. The enclosed DVD, which also is adorned with ducks, features the -- yep, you guessed it -- "Ducky Tie" episode and three others: "The Best Man," "Disaster Averted" and "Tick, Tick, Tick... ."
ABC's "Modern Family"
Welcome to the Dunphy circus! ABC's Modern Family plays on the circus theme the series has used in the past for a simple book featuring the beloved family. Episodes submitted are "Aunt Mommy," "Door to Door," "Egg Drop," which features Julie Bowen's famed fall, and "Leap Day."
Fox's "New Girl"
After sending out candy-filled glass Douche Bag Jars to critics ahead of the show's launch, Fox again is incorporating the prop from New Girl for its Emmy campaign. The fold-out mailer features quotes from its colorful cast, including this Schmidt gem: "I'm like a sexual snowflake. Each night with me is like a unique experience." Episodes submitted include the pilot, "Jess & Julia," "Injured" and "Secrets."
IFC's quirky comedy Portlandia Emmy mailer comes with a heartfelt letter to members of the TV Academy, encouraging them to pack bike helmets, birds and Emmys for a trip up to Portland. Inside, a pop-out map includes the Portland hotspots featured on the series from Carrie Brownstein and Fred Armisen, including Women & Women FIrst Bookstore. And yes, there's a bird on the packaging.
Fox's "Raising Hope"
Aw, it's a '70s-style children's book to promote Raising Hope! The six-page package is short and sweet and includes Cloris Leachman appearing as the Wicked Witch and Garret Dillahunt behind his red cup fort, among other fun illustrations from the Fox series.
CBS' "The Good Wife"
Delivered in a thick white envelope that reads, "For your deliberation," CBS' fold-out puch contains a glossy book promoting the legal drama with key words including "ambition," "power," "seduction," "guilt" and "consequences." The two encosed DVDs feature seven episodes, including "Whiskey Tango Foxtrot" and "Blue Ribbon Panel."
The intense fold-out packaging mirrors the complex world that Tim Kring has created for Kiefer Suthlerland's beleaguered father. The DVD at the center contains the pilot episode of Touch.
Consider yourself served: DirecTV hopes Emmy voters don't get tied up with their legal-style Emmy mailer, which comes in a black legal envelope, complete with string closure.
Photo by: Chris Godley
Warner Bros. Television
Warner Bros. Television's 12-disc Emmy mailer features individually packaged DVDs from comedies including 2 Broke Girls, The Big Bang Theory, The Middle, Mike & Molly and Two and a Half Men as well as dramas like Fringe, The Mentalist, Harry's Law and Person of Interest as well as unscripted hit The Voice.
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