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‘Black Mirror’: Netflix Submits Episodes as Movies in Sneaky Emmys Strategy

The streaming giant also submitted an episode of Joe Swanberg's "Easy" as a TV Movie in an attempt to boost its chances at securing nominations.

Black Mirror

David Dettmann/Netflix

Netflix isn’t messing around with the 2017 Emmys. First, the streaming network released a flood of high-profile contenders in May — right before eligibility closed — in order to boost awareness. It even broke its own Friday release strategy to get “House of Cards” out at the very end of the month. Meanwhile, Netflix has been operating a giant FYSee space in Beverly Hills, where they host screenings and panels to schmooze TV Academy voters.

Now that the ballots are out (voting runs from June 12 to June 26), Netflix has stacked the deck in its favor one more way: category changes. Namely, they moved a couple of key limited series to the TV Movie category in order to increase their shot at nominations.

READ MORE: ‘Black Mirror’: Why Charlie Brooker Wrote ‘San Junipero’ To Screw with His Netflix Critics

Black Mirror” is the biggest shake-up. Charlie Brooker’s cult hit stood a decent chance of snagging a nomination as a limited series, but now it’s got an even better shot in the less competitive TV Movie field. Because the anthology series consists of standalone episodes, each hour tells a new story and can be considered a movie instead of just one part of an ongoing series.

Netflix chose to submit “San Junipero,” Episode 4, directed by Owen Harris and written by Brooker. It’s the only episode on the TV Movie ballot, while a number of actors and crew are up for other episodes.

Best TV Movie or Limited Series Actor
Alex Lawther, “Black Mirror: Shut Up & Dance”
Michael Kelly, “Black Mirror: Men Against Fire”

Best TV Movie or Limited Series Actress
Bryce Dallas Howard, “Black Mirror: Nosedive”

Best TV Movie or Limited Series Actress
Madeline Brewer, “Black Mirror: Men Against Fire”
Mackenzie Davis, “Black Mirror: San Junipero”
Gugu Mbatha-Raw, “Black Mirror: San Junipero”

Best Writing in a TV Movie or Limited Series
“Black Mirror: San Junipero”

Best Directing in a TV Movie or Limited Series
“Black Mirror: Nosedive”

Best Casting in a TV Movie or Limited Series
“Black Mirror: Nosedive”

Best Cinematography in a TV Movie or Limited Series
“Black Mirror: Nosedive”

Best Costumes in a TV Movie or Limited Series
“Black Mirror: San Junipero”

Best Hairstyling in a TV Movie or Limited Series
“Black Mirror: San Junipero”

Best Makeup in a TV Movie or Limited Series
“Black Mirror: Nosedive”

Best Motion Design
“Black Mirror: Nosedive”

Best Picture Editing in a TV Movie or Limited Series (Single Camera)
“Black Mirror: Nosedive”

Best Prosthetic Makeup
“Black Mirror: Men Against Fire”

Best Production Design in a Narrative, Contemporary/Fantasy
“Black Mirror: Nosedive”

Best Sound Editing in a TV Movie or Limited Series
“Black Mirror: Nosedive”

Best Sound Mixing in a TV Movie or Limited Series
“Black Mirror: San Junipero”

Best Special Visual Effects
“Black Mirror: Playtest”

Best Stunt Coordination
“Black Mirror: Men Against Fire”

But the strategy didn’t end with “Black Mirror.” Joe Swanberg’s eight-episode anthology comedy series, “Easy,” was also submitted in the TV Movie category. Episode 5, “Art and Life,” starring Marc Maron and Emily Ratajkowski will represent the series. And yet despite the perfect opportunity, it does not appear Aya Cash was submitted for her role in Episode 3 (“Brewery Brothers”) or Episode 8 (“Hop Dreams”) — perhaps the connected narrative would have ruined the illusion that these were individual movies, rather than parts of the same series.

“Black Mirror” and “Easy” will compete against Netflix’s other TV Movie entry, “David Brent: Life on the Road,” as well as other qualified entries like “Sherlock: The Lying Detective,” “The Wizard of Lies,” and “Sharknado: The 4th Awakens.”

The 2017 Emmy nominations will be announced on Thursday, July 13.

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