Emmys: How This Year's Nominated Series Fare Overseas
'Games of Thrones' is "the biggest thing," while other contenders are "too art house" for international audiences, argues one German TV acquisitions head.
The Emmys may be invaluable in the U.S., but they don't carry the same clout overseas. Increasingly, nominated shows, which tend to be more serialized, don't play well abroad. "The Emmys have become less and less important for commercial broadcasters," says German TV acquisitions head Rudiger Boss, who argues that the majority of series lauded at the ceremony are "too art house" for international audiences.
The one exception: Game of Thrones. "It's the biggest thing," says Boss, who attributes the global success of the HBO drama to its writing and strong visuals. "But that's the only one. The others are not working."
While viewing metrics remain unknown for many of this year's contenders — some are only on streaming platforms (Amazon's Transparent, Netflix's Master of None) and others aren't available yet (The People v. O.J. Simpson goes global in 2017) — check out how some of this year's Emmy noms stack up abroad.
1. Games of Thrones
The fantasy drama has its first run on pay TV networks in most territories, where it consistently breaks viewership records. Season six did so in Canada, Australia, Latin America and the U.K., where it draws more than 5 million viewers on Sky Atlantic, making it the network's most watched program ever.
2. Mr. Robot
With an average of 400,000 viewers on Swedish broadcaster SVT1, the hacker drama is not exactly a knockout — but it does rank as the No. 3 U.S. series in Sweden in total viewers.
3. The Americans
With less than 1 million viewers, the spy drama proved a flop for U.K. broadcaster ITV, leading the network to drop the series — only to later pick it up again on its much-less-viewed pay TV offshoot ITV Encore.
Despite moving the CIA thriller to Berlin last season, the series was a disappointment for German channel ProSiebenSat.1, pulling in only 650,000 viewers for the premiere. Its lead-in NCIS, in comparison, drew 2.55 million viewers.
This story first appeared in the Sept. 23 issue of The Hollywood Reporter magazine. To receive the magazine, click here to subscribe.