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Anonymous Emmy Ballot: Network Executive Says Broadcast Series Should Win Because They Produce More Episodes

"This Is Us" and "Black-ish" earn this voter's respect for keeping up the quality despite having to produce such longer seasons.

THIS IS US -- "Vegas, Baby" Episode 216 -- Pictured: (l-r) Mandy Moore as Rebecca, Milo Ventimiglia as Jack -- (Photo by: Ron Batzdorff/NBC)

“This Is Us”

Ron Batzdorff/NBC

ABC, NBC, CBS, and Fox recently sealed a new deal with the TV Academy to keep rotating who telecasts the Emmys every year. And yet, the broadcasters are mostly shut out of the major scripted categories. Some pundits argue that it doesn’t make sense to serve as a marketing tool for streaming and premium cable for three hours on their own air, but the networks are bound by tradition — and the hope that enough people will still watch that it’s worth airing on the eve of the new fall season as a marketing tool.

Nonetheless, it’s been pointed out quite a bit over the years that the broadcast networks are at a disadvantage, as their top shows often run 24, or more, episodes per season. To pit that kind of output up against a show with an 8- or 10-episode order seems a bit unfair. CBS and “The Good Wife” even made that point the cornerstone of their Emmy campaign one year.

This installment of IndieWire’s Anonymous Emmy Ballots comes from a network executive who clearly feels that way. This executive chooses NBC drama “This Is Us” and ABC comedy “Black-ish” for the win precisely because of the higher level of difficultly in churning out so many episodes.

IndieWire reached out to creatives across the industry this year to share their own Emmy ballots, anonymously, and explain why they made their choices. Performers, writers, producers, publicists, executives, and craftspeople from across the industry offered up their answers, and IndieWire has been posting some of those ballots this week and next week.

Here’s how the anonymous network executive made their picks on this year’s Emmy race. Read on below:

Outstanding Drama Series

The Americans
The Crown
Game Of Thrones
The Handmaid’s Tale
Stranger Things
☑ This Is Us

The buzz seems to be a “Handmaid’s” vs. “Game of Thrones” battle, but I didn’t think either had a particularly great season. My vote goes to “This Is Us” for delivering as emotional and complex as second season as its first. And also for having to stretch it through nearly double the episode count of any of its competitors.

BLACK-ISH - ABC's "black-ish" stars Miles Brown as Jack Johnson, Tracee Ellis Ross as Rainbow Johnson, Yara Shahidi as Zoey Johnson, Anthony Anderson as Andre "Dre" Johnson, Marcus Scribner as Andre Johnson, Jr., Austin and Berlin Gross as Devonte Johnson, Marsai Martin as Diane Johnson, Laurence Fishburne as Pops Johnson and Jenifer Lewis as Ruby Johnson. (ABC/Bob D’Amico)


Outstanding Comedy Series

☑ black-ish
Curb Your Enthusiasm
The Marvelous Mrs. Maisel
Silicon Valley
Unbreakable Kimmy Schmidt

I’ve always felt that a comedy should be funny. Only a few in this race meet that important criteria and “Black-ish” is one, having to do it 24 times a year. Respect.

Read More: Emmy Predictions 2018 — The 70th Annual Primetime Emmys

Outstanding Limited Series

The Alienist
The Assassination Of Gianni Versace: American Crime Story
Genius: Picasso
☑ Godless
Patrick Melrose

[No reason given.]

Paterno Al Pacino HBO Movie


Atsushi Nishijima/HBO

Outstanding Television Movie

Fahrenheit 451
☑ Paterno
The Tale
USS Callister (Black Mirror)

[No reason given.]

Lead Actress in a Drama Series

Claire Foy/The Crown
☑ Tatiana Maslany/Orphan Black
Elisabeth Moss/The Handmaid’s Tale
Sandra Oh/Killing Eve
Keri Russell/The Americans
Evan Rachel Wood/Westworld

Evan Rachel Wood, Keri Russell, and Elisabeth Moss are excellent in their respective programs — but the competition is just too big this year. Sandra Oh and Claire Foy are powerhouses, and in Foy’s case it’s the last season to reward her work in “The Crown,” but it’s also the last chance to reward Tatiana Maslany — and no performance can match what she did in the series finale. Yes, she’s won once before, but she should have an Emmy not just for each season “Orphan Black” was on, but for each clone she played.

Lead Actor in a Drama Series

Jason Bateman/Ozark
Sterling K. Brown/This Is Us
Ed Harris/Westworld
Matthew Rhys/The Americans
☑ Milo Ventimiglia/This Is Us
Jeffrey Wright/Westworld

Last year’s winner, Sterling K. Brown, is Emmy-worthy in all he does, but even he has to admit that this year belonged to his co-star Milo Ventimiglia. Wright, Harris, and Rhys are all fantastic, but Ventimiglia stepped into his own this season, navigating Jack through a tricky path this season worth of all the accolades.

Lead Actress in a Comedy Series

Pamela Adlon/Better Things
Rachel Brosnahan/The Marvelous Mrs. Maisel
Allison Janney/Mom
Issa Rae/Insecure
☑ Tracee Ellis Ross/black-ish
Lily Tomlin/Grace And Frankie

A new winner will be crowned in this category after six years. Through several of those years Tracee Ellis Ross maybe should have won at least once, so why not this year for her hilarious, and often drama-filled performance in “Black-ish.”

Shameless Season 8 William H. Macy


Chuck Hodes / Showtime

Lead Actor in a Comedy Series

Anthony Anderson/black-ish
Ted Danson/The Good Place
Larry David/Curb Your Enthusiasm
Donald Glover/Atlanta
Bill Hader/Barry
☑ William H. Macy/Shameless

If you haven’t watched what Bill Macy does in “Shameless” you’re not only missing one of the funniest, outlandish performances on television, but also one of the best shows on television.

Lead Actress in a Limited Series/Movie

☑ Jessica Biel/The Sinner
Laura Dern/The Tale
Michelle Dockery/Godless
Edie Falco/Law & Order True Crime: The Menendez Murders
Regina King/Seven Seconds
Sarah Paulson/American Horror Story: Cult

[No reason given.]

Lead Actor in a Limited Series/Movie

Antonio Banderas/Genius: Picasso
Darren Criss/The Assassination Of Gianni Versace: American Crime Story
☑ Benedict Cumberbatch/Patrick Melrose
Jeff Daniels/The Looming Tower
John Legend/Jesus Christ Superstar Live In Concert
Jesse Plemons/USS Callister (Black Mirror)

[No reason given.]

Supporting Actress in a Drama Series

Alexis Bledel/The Handmaid’s Tale
Millie Bobby Brown/Stranger Things
Ann Dowd/The Handmaid’s Tale
Lena Headey/Game Of Thrones
Vanessa Kirby/The Crown
☑ Thandie Newton/Westworld
Yvonne Strahovski/The Handmaid’s Tale

I don’t understand a lot about “Westworld” but I do understand that Thandie Newton should have an Emmy for her brilliant performance each week on the show.

Supporting Actor in a Drama Series

Nikolaj Coster-Waldau/Game Of Thrones
Peter Dinklage/Game Of Thrones
Joseph Fiennes/The Handmaid’s Tale
☑ David Harbour/Stranger Things
Mandy Patinkin/Homeland
Matt Smith/The Crown

“Stranger Things” had a strong sophomore season and David Harbour was a big reason why.

ROSEANNE - "No Country for Old Women" - After Beverly gets kicked out of the nursing home, Roseanne and Jackie fight over who will take care of their mother. Meanwhile, Mark's creative touch with building a birdhouse for Dan's customer is more than Dan can handle, but Darlene defends her son, on the sixth episode of the revival of "Roseanne," TUESDAY, MAY 1 (8:00-8:30 p.m. EDT), on The ABC Television Network. (ABC/Greg Gayne)ROSEANNE BARR, LAURIE METCALF

Roseanne Barr and Laurie Metcalf

ABC / Greg Gayne

Supporting Actress in a Comedy Series

Zazie Beetz/Atlanta
Alex Borstein/The Marvelous Mrs. Maisel
Aidy Bryant/Saturday Night Live
Betty Gilpin/GLOW
Leslie Jones/Saturday Night Live
Kate McKinnon/Saturday Night Live
☑ Laurie Metcalf/Roseanne
Megan Mullally/Will & Grace

As much as I like Leslie Jones, and hope she wins several Emmys throughout her career, I can’t bring myself to vote on a variety show performance in a series performance category. Megan Mullally was the best part of her revived series, but so was Laurie Metcalf and she lost an Oscar she deserved.

Supporting Actor in a Comedy Series

Louie Anderson/Baskets
Alec Baldwin/Saturday Night Live
Tituss Burgess/Unbreakable Kimmy Schmidt
Brian Tyree Henry/Atlanta
Tony Shalhoub/The Marvelous Mrs. Maisel
Kenan Thompson/Saturday Night Live
☑ Henry Winkler/Barry

The Fonz. Full stop.

Supporting Actress in a Limited Series or Movie

Sara Bareilles/Jesus Christ Superstar Live In Concert
Penélope Cruz/The Assassination Of Gianni Versace: American Crime Story
☑ Judith Light/The Assassination Of Gianni Versace: American Crime Story
Adina Porter/American Horror Story: Cult
Merritt Wever/Godless
Letitia Wright/Black Museum (Black Mirror)

[No reason given.]

Supporting Actor in a Limited Series or Movie

Jeff Daniels/Godless
Brandon Victor Dixon/Jesus Christ Superstar Live In Concert
☑ John Leguizamo/Waco
Ricky Martin/The Assassination Of Gianni Versace: American Crime Story
Edgar Ramírez/The Assassination Of Gianni Versace: American Crime Story
Michael Stuhlbarg/The Looming Tower
Finn Wittrock/The Assassination Of Gianni Versace: American Crime Story

[No reason given.]

TOP CHEF -- "A Little Place Called Aspen" Episode 1513 -- Pictured: Padma Lakshmi -- (Photo by: Paul Trantow/Bravo)

“Top Chef”

Paul Trantow/Bravo

Outstanding Reality/Competition Program

The Amazing Race
American Ninja Warrior
Project Runway
RuPaul’s Drag Race
☑ Top Chef
The Voice

[No reason given.]

Outstanding Structured Reality Program

Antiques Roadshow
Fixer Upper
Lip Sync Battle
Queer Eye
☑ Shark Tank
Who Do You Think You Are?

[No reason given.]

Outstanding Unstructured Reality Program

Born This Way
Deadliest Catch
Naked And Afraid
☑ RuPaul’s Drag Race: Untucked
United Shades Of America With W. Kamau Bell

[No reason given.]

Host for a Reality or Reality/Competition Program

W. Kamau Bell/United Shades Of America With W. Kamau Bell
Ellen Degeneres/Ellen’s Game Of Games
☑ RuPaul/RuPaul’s Drag Race
Heidi Klum and Tim Gunn/Project Runway
Jane Lynch/Hollywood Game Night

[No reason given.]

"Jimmy Kimmel Live!"

“Jimmy Kimmel Live!”


Outstanding Variety Talk Series

The Daily Show With Trevor Noah
Full Frontal With Samantha Bee
☑ Jimmy Kimmel Live!
Last Week Tonight With John Oliver
The Late Late Show With James Corden
The Late Show With Stephen Colbert

[No reason given.]

Outstanding Variety Sketch Series

At Home With Amy Sedaris
☑ Drunk History
I Love You, America With Sarah Silverman
Saturday Night Live
Tracey Ullman’s Show

[No reason given.]

Outstanding Variety Special (Live)

The 75th Annual Golden Globe Awards
60th Annual Grammy Awards
Jesus Christ Superstar Live In Concert
Night Of Too Many Stars: America Unites For Autism Programs
☑ The Oscars

[No reason given.]

Carol Burnett

“Carol Burnett 50th Anniversary Special”


Outstanding Variety Special (Pre-Recorded)

☑ Carol Burnett Show 50th Anniversary Special
Carpool Karaoke Primetime Special 2018
Dave Chappelle: Equanimity
Full Frontal With Samantha Bee Presents: The Great American* Puerto Rico (*It’s Complicated)
Steve Martin & Martin Short: An Evening You Will Forget For The Rest Of Your Life

[No reason given.]

Outstanding Informational Series or Special

☑ Anthony Bourdain: Parts Unknown
Leah Remini: Scientology And The Aftermath
My Next Guest Needs No Introduction With David Letterman
StarTalk With Neil deGrasse Tyson

[No reason given.]

[Production assistance by Liz Shannon Miller.]

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