Emmys
Emmys Nominations Snubs

In Wake of Outlander Emmy Snub, Starz Boss Slams 'Reductive' Voting System

Starz CEO Chris Albrecht is not happy that Outlander — and his network as a whole — got the proverbial shaft when Emmy nominations were announced last month.

“I was part of the team that invented how to campaign for Emmy Awards — trust me, it’s not a level playing field,” the exec bemoaned to reporters Monday at the Television Critics Association summer press tour. “I spent years inside the TV Academy, working it. It took a lot of money, and there’s a certain momentum that goes along with that.

“Having said that, we couldn’t be more proud of the work that’s being done by the people on the shows,” he added. “[Outlander] is award-worthy. Whether it’s an Emmy Award or not is not the point.”

Albrecht wasn’t done yet.

“It’s a very distinct group of people no matter how they try to expand their membership base,” he continued. “I think the TV Academy should be celebrating [this] unprecedented time in our industry. They should be finding a way to platform the diversity, to have something that reflects this expansion and not have what has been…a continually reductive process that ends up with a longer list of losers and the same number of winners.”

Do you agree with Albrecht? Does the Emmy system need to be overhauled? Sound off below!

Comments are monitored, so don’t go off topic, don’t frakkin’ curse and don’t bore us with how much your coworker’s sister-in-law makes per hour. Talk smart about TV!

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50 Comments
  1. RD says:

    get over it

  2. Simon Jester says:

    As someone who watches Outlander… I wouldn’t have given it a Best Drama nod, either. I’d have dropped Downton Abbey from the nominee list, but replaced it with Orange Is the New Black or The Leftovers.

    • Joey says:

      It was only OitNB’s 3rd season that was eligible for awards, and I wouldn’t have awarded that Best Drama either for what was overall a pretty comedic season (Pennsatucky not included, of course).

    • rmh8402 says:

      Maybe not best drama, but Tobias Menzies was amazing. Sam and Cait were good too.

  3. Seun Fayiga says:

    Its totally ridiculous when producers of a show or creators or thr cast or the network exec complain that their show wasnt nominated for an award. You produce a show for the audience and of course for the money and not for awards. If u win, fine. If u dont, then continue the good work. The main thing is that everyone loves the show and know its good. So let all these senseless fuzzing stop. By the way…how many sci-fi shows actually get nominated for emmys.
    So let others be the one complaining and not you.
    Check Tatiana Maslany as an example. fans were the one complaining about the emmy snub all along and not her or the exec of BBC America. And she finally got the nom.

    • Ben says:

      In response to a question about Outlander being snubbed, he didn’t complain about Outlander missing a nomination – instead, he talked about the increase in numbers and diversity of programming without any increase in number of categories, nominees or winners…

      I mean, why can’t Emmy’s have a ‘best sci fi or fantasy show’ for example, I don’t know if that specific category would fly but they could think of ways to increase the recognition, and that seems to be the point he was making and it was a good one… and he did it without saying Outlander should have been nominated.

      • Bryan says:

        the thing about why the Emmys are “prestigious” is the exclusivity. Even if you just get nominated, there’s still a bit of pride coz not all shows/people get to be that. I woild agree though that the # of nominated shows per year should be like the Oscars where the maximum is 10. SO many great shows ins our time now.

      • rmh8402 says:

        You took the words right out of my mouth! He was asked a question and be gave an answer. One that had a lot of truth to it.

  4. Courtney says:

    I think Outlander deserves to be recognized, but I can understand other shows getting in over it. However, without a doubt, Caitriona Balfe deserved to be recognized this past year.

  5. Sis1123 says:

    As a member of the academy who voted, thanks for the insult. Did it occur to you that we felt other shows are more worthy? No matter how hard you tried to buy a nomination.

  6. Brian says:

    There’s other shows that were more deserving of major nominations like The Leftovers, The Knick, and Rectify. The Affair only got a supporting actress nomination. Other period/fantasy shows like Penny Dreadful and The Man in the High Castle might have deserved noms more than Outlander too.

  7. nsync08 says:

    What a big, whiny baby! Not every show can be nominated, no matter how good they are. There were several other shows that didn’t get nominated. Grow up.

    • rmh8402 says:

      He was asked a question and he answered it. He wasn’t whining, he made a statement that the nomination process needs to be updated because there were many shows (besides his own) that he felt deserved a nom. Not sure that qualifies as whining.

  8. Bebe says:

    The only one from Outlander deserving a nomination is Tobias Menzies. A brilliant actor and he is fantastic playing two very different characters in Outlander. He deserved a nomination this year and previous year as well. Other than that I don’t think so. I wouldn’t even give them those two nominations they did actually receive, for costumes and production design. Especially costumes, considering how historically inaccurate they are.

  9. dru mont says:

    I wish there was a way that actors on a series can be judged on the basis of their work for an entire season and not just a single episode. I don’t know how it can be accomplished, especially with the current television landscape, but some actors deliver subtle performances that develop over a whole season. I think that is why there is so much repetition in the nominations and so many repeat winners – a lot of the voters stick with what they know.

    I do think it is silly that shows on a “lesser” network like the CW get overlooked year after year – Rachel Bloom, on CRAZY EX-GIRLFRIEND, certainly should be up for best actress in a comedy series. I also think performances in genre series get the shaft (Melissa McBride on THE WALKING DEAD, for example).

    • KLS says:

      I agree that judging an actor’s work for a series based on one submitted performance seems very limited. On the other hand, how can the voters watch every episode from every show? I still remember how frustrated I was to see almost the entire cast get nominated and then win for “Third Rock From the Sun”, year after year for a completely unwatchable show after season 1. Something should be changed somewhere.

  10. Lori says:

    I’m actually a fan of the show. To me, they ridiculously overlooked Sam Heughan’s work last year. He should have been nominated then. This year, I don’t think the show was that great. Catriona Balfe had one great episode. Otherwise, they just have her play her character as an angry woman. I also think that there’s great diversity of programming out there and no one is guaranteed a nomination. Most people don’t get nominated and it shouldn’t make a difference. Just my two cents.

  11. Barbara Jo Price says:

    Of course the Emmy did a total injustice to the whole cast and crew…for me I will not ever watch the “emmys” again!!!.. They have lost me as a viewer.
    Thanks for listening to me bitch. BJP

  12. nex says:

    Season 2 was total crap, the leading actress can’t act, what is he talking about? Desperate and pathetic.

  13. webly3 says:

    The Emmy’s are clearly flawed and always will be. This is mostly because the Emmys like to reward shows over and over again. When spots open up, they give it to other people on the shows that they love. For example, Maisie Williams was nominated this year which seemed like progress for the academy, and it was an exciting moment for me as a fan of her work on the show. Her work in Game of Thrones has always been a highlight. She did great work in season 6, but she didn’t deserve an Emmy nom for the season because of other great performers that were overlooked like Melissa McBride who has repeatedly got the shaft because the Emmys don’t acknowledge anything from The Walking Dead other than visual effects/prosthetics. (For the record, Williams did deserve an Emmy nom for season 2, but the show wasn’t as beloved at that point).

    • webly3 says:

      I haven’t actually seen Outlander past its first episode, but I do know that other Starz shows have been overlooked like their phenomenal limited series The Girlfriend Experience was.

  14. Aimee says:

    “I was part of the team that invented how to campaign for Emmy Awards…” – Reallyu? And yet you still didn’t get nominated. Clearly you are not as good at a lot of things as you think your are.

    • Leona says:

      He’s clearly saying that he and his network didn’t throw money at the campaign the way he used to at HBO.

  15. keniri says:

    This was all about money. When a TV series wins an Emmy or an Oscar, the network can charge advertisers more and they can also stick lieke “emmy award winner” or “oscar award winner” on the home video packaging and it sells more copies. These networks, producers, directors and actors need to get over it and stop acting like spoiled three year olds.

    • KLS says:

      Agreed, it’s all about the money, both getting the award and reaping the benefits when you win. I tend to not pay attention because I think they are rigged. But what then annoys me is when that win translates to better, high paying jobs in the future. Like in sports. Everyone knows that the All-Star games are rigged by devoted, ballot stuffing fans. Fine, but when that athlete then lands more endorsements and contracts based on those All-Star nominations and NOT for performance, I get annoyed.

      • Simon Jester says:

        Oh, I dunno. If piggybacking on his Emmy is what landed Bryan Cranston his gig as LBJ — first Off-Broadway, then on film — then I’m all for it.

  16. Sarah says:

    Agreed it’s a ridiculous system that ultimately awards tv and movies for throwing massive amounts of money into campaigns, but if he “invented” campaigning he kinda has himself to blame. It’s not so nice being on the other side of a rigged system, but you can guarantee he would stop complaining if someone dropped enough money in his lap to benefit from it. Which is why it will never change – just like anything else, they don’t want it to be fair, they want it be unfair in their favor.

  17. Iris says:

    The guy is salty because the adaptation of a rape fest bodice ripper didn’t get any Emmy nod? Come on.

  18. drhenning says:

    I enjoy Outlander and really don’t care if they win awards… We got 2 more seasons on the way so that’s good… It’s a tough call on Emmy awards since there are many terrific shows you can watch these days.. What really gets screwed are the major network dramas that have to churn out more episodes… The awards should be for a season not submitted episodes.. A whole season of excellence matters more than a couple of great ones.. More people actually watch them than any of the cable or online shows..

  19. kmw says:

    While I get where they are coming from( and yes Outlander deserves Emmy love) cry me a river. There are many many shows actors and actresses and writers who will never be acknowledged and yes his show is being ignored but most of cable DOES get Emmy love. This is an argument everyone has year after year and no one has come up with a solution to fix it. Too much good television and same ol same ol mentality in voting hurts just as much as lack of money to push for votes. If he wants to change the way it works then he better help find a better way

  20. Allie says:

    Outlander fizzled at the Emmy’s because the show, as a whole, fizzled as well. I loved S1 until all the homo-erotic torture scenes showed up. I have nothing against it, but, it was just too much for me personally, as I’m sure was the case for a lot of other viewers as well (and yes, I live in California, not the midwest, fly-over states.) Taking risks on a show makes it edgy, yes, but not everyone will like that sort of thing. I also realize it was true to the novels, but, again, just to much for me personally.

  21. Irene L says:

    Why do Americans have to turn everything into a competition? What is the point? If you like the show, watch it. If not, then move on to something else. People have different tastes in entertainment. Since all the shows are all very different, how can they really be compared for “best”? Downton Abbey or Game of Thrones or Mr. Robot appeal to different audiences – who’s to say who has the correct POV? It’s all an actor popularity contest anyway.

  22. Malissa R. says:

    Outlander is absolutely worthy of being acknowledged. The network and production exec’s. said nothing the first season when they were snubbed, but when it continues, I imagine it would be frustrating for them. As a viewer, I tire of the same shows and by extension, the same performers, year after year being recognized with no risk of taking a chance on recognizing other great entries.

  23. gigi says:

    Outlander is a breath of fresh air, me and my neighbors , my sisters, coworkers etc all love it. It should be nominated over some of the idiotic stuff they do nominate, that is the problem with America n our young who know nothing of history, wake up people. CHANGE IS GOOD. ..

  24. rocknreina says:

    I have never seen a high quality production as Outlander. The cast is outstanding and so true to the characters in the book. An actor has to capture the essence of the character and this is whatOutlander does. The emotions are so real.

    • rocknreina says:

      Look, to those of you who have nothing but negative comments about Outlander, its obvious you dont watch the show. The show is filmed in Scotland, the details that went into the costumes, the time invested to learn the Scottish accent alone should not be overlooked but instead should be considered when voting. Its not often a show is about a married couple in love. Come on folks if you haven’t watched the show through out, keep your insults to yourself. Just saying!!!

      • Sarah says:

        What a silly assumption to make! I’ve seen every episode multiple times – doesn’t mean I can’t be critical, of the show or a producer who’s mad at campaigning after claiming to invent it.
        .
        I actually happen to think there are some very good acting performances on the show, but certainly not due to the time it takes to learn a Scottish accent. For starters, most of the actors playing Highlanders on Outlander are actually Scottish, so it didn’t take them a whole lot of time to learn. Secondly, most of the actors on TV are “doing” an accent, whether it’s a regional accent other than their natural one or a non-regional dialect – because they (including General American, which is used in most US TV and movies) ALL take training, since they don’t actually exist in nature. As an actor, getting the accent right is part of your job… and, frankly, if you can’t do it you shouldn’t (and usually don’t) get the job. So not only should you not get extra credit for getting it right, a) most of the audience won’t even notice unless you don’t, and b) it generally IS considered for acting awards, but doesn’t really help narrow down the field much.
        .
        Also, Outlander WAS nominated for costume design… so I’m not sure if you’re saying it should have been nominated for other awards because it has great costumes, or that other shows shouldn’t have been nominated in other categories because Outlander has outstanding costumes. Either way, every show on TV uses costumes – and a lot of them have really great ones – so having and being able to work with costumes isn’t really a consideration in most categories, nor would Outlander necessarily be nominated if it was.
        .
        So… basically… nothing you’ve mentioned is a good reason why a TV show should be nominated for an Emmy, nor would Outlander necessarily be the leading contender if they were. It also doesn’t mean someone hasn’t watched the whole series if they happen to think there are other shows more deserving of the shortlist… because there are a whole lot of TV shows, and not a lot of Emmy nominations to go around.

        • I have watched all the episodes of Outlander and happen to think it’s a terrific show and worthy of not only nominations in more than 1 category but deserving of receiving awards as well. Perhaps a new category of Emmy awards might be considered – Adaptation of a fiction or non-fiction book. Sherlock Holmes episodes based on SH books (which falls into the fiction/non-fiction category) receive nominations, so why not Outlander? A SH nomination is for a 1 to 2 hour show which is part of Masterpiece Mysteries (I believe). An Outlander nomination would be for a whole season of work.

          I would like to see one episode of a season be dropped from nomination and rather have a separate category established to recognize that excellence, e g , best actor in an episode (or something similar). It might give more “room” to include outstanding series for nomination that have heretofore been ignored, not recognized or snubbed.

          My personal opinion is that Tobias Menzies’s work on Outlander is an extraordinary piece of acting. Whether or not someone likes the character or what the character does/doesn’t do is immaterial. I also believe the directing and writing in that show show should be recognized as well. Truly excellent.

          And yes, I have seen the majority of the shows/actors/episodes which have been nominated and have done comparisons but I still believe that Outlander should have received more recognition.

          People who work in business receive raises and promotions based on performance over time. And so it should be with the Emmies. Not for 1 day, I.e., one episode of good work but for consistent performance over a period of time, be that an actor, director, script writer, costume designer, makeup artist, etc. If an award is to be given for one episode, make it a separate category.

          Another option might be, if an Emmy is awarded this year for “the best show” or “the best actor” it or he/she would not be eligible next year for a nomination in the same category. It would open doors for “other” shows and actors to be recognized and provide more diversity of programs being nominated.

          Just my 26 cents worth!

  25. Liz Evans says:

    Outlander deserved Emmys for the three lead actors: Sam Heughan, Catriona Balfe and Tobias Menzies. Historical accuracy, costumes, and music we’re also worthy of awards.