“I’ll put a number on it — it’s 10 times crazier,” FX’s chief executive, John Landgraf, said, laughing. “It’s ridiculous.”
At a time when there is more television than ever — there will be more than 450 scripted shows broadcast this year — award jockeying, apparently, is the next logical step. Voting for nominations began last week. Nominees for the September ceremony will be announced next month.
The Oscars may have some restrictions on what studios can do to influence would-be voters, but the Emmys hunt has turned into a Wild West of no-holds barred campaigning.
“For Your Consideration” advertisements have blanketed Los Angeles, appearing on billboards, bus shelters and posters. In a seven-block stretch of Melrose Avenue, there were outdoor ads for “Unbreakable Kimmy Schmidt” (Netflix), “Sarah Silverman: A Speck of Dust” (Netflix), “Transparent” (Amazon), “The Night Of” (HBO), “The Good Fight” (CBS) and “Superstore” (NBC).
“I live in Studio City and drive all the way across town to our office, and I pass at least three ‘Legion’ billboards,” said John Cameron, an executive producer for FX’s “Legion” and “Fargo.” “We’re not even on the air anymore and they’re up for that very reason: for Emmy voter memory reasons.”
Mr. Cameron was an executive producer of the critical hit “Friday Night Lights” and reflected on what it was like in the old days — that is, about six years ago.
“They never used to bother to advertise television like that,” he said. “Now it’s completely analogous to an Oscars campaign.”
Each day for the past couple of months, thousands of Emmy voters have received mailed packages filled with elaborately designed boxes that contain DVDs for award contenders. The packages are a considerable expense — the more ostentatious, the more likely to stand out — and are mailed to a large number of potential voters. Executives estimate that the packages cost some networks more than $1 million, and for a select few, over $2 million.
“It is overwhelming the amount of content that comes to me every single day,” said Warren…