5:12pm PT by Scott Feinberg
Emmys: TV Academy Amending Ballot After Network Name Slips In (Exclusive)
Well, talk about an unconventional way to get attention for your show during the Emmy voting nomination period, which began on Monday and will run through June 24...
The Hollywood Reporter has learned that the Academy of Television Arts and Sciences is "in the midst of" amending its ballot for unstructured reality programs after realizing that the name of the network behind one of the category's contenders, The Employables, slipped into the description that appears on the ballot below its name — it begins, "A&E's groundbreaking docuseries..." — which is a big no-no, per TV Academy policy.
The names of networks are deliberately not listed on Emmy ballots, at least in part out a desire to discourage "bloc voting," wherein people vote for a show because of the network behind it — often their own employer — as opposed to the quality of the show itself. This was something that marred the early years of the Oscars, back when many members of the film community were "under contract" to specific studios, and that remains a concern of the TV Academy, in light of the fact that many members of the TV community have longstanding relationships with specific networks.
In fact, earlier on Wednesday, THR was the first to report that the TV Academy has disqualified several members of its Performers Peer Group (i.e. actors) from voting for this year's Emmys after discovering that they had engaged in or advocated for block voting.
A TV Academy spokesperson reached about the Employables situation told THR, "Indeed, this had been noted and the ballot is in the midst of being corrected."
The TV Academy can be excused for one mistake like this evading its gatekeepers, considering that an unprecedented 732 shows, 54 of them unstructured reality programs, are listed — and described — on this year's Emmy ballots representing various categories.