The clumsy, lumbering attempts of the networks to basically blackmail the Academy members into nominating more popular shows are not going very well for them at the moment. The decision to cut eight presentations from the show was bad enough; what made it worse was that Emmy producer Don Mischer openly admitted they were doing this to make room for more popular (but under-nominated) shows on the broadcast. It’s a known fact that every awards show is simply an evening-length advertisement for the industry, and that the industry would therefore prefer its most valuable properties to be highlighted, but it’s supposed to be an unspoken known fact.
In retaliation, the Directors’ Guild has accused the Academy heads of a potential “material breach” in cutting some of those awards, #Emmysfail has become a top topic on Twitter, and most entertainingly, NBC is trying to drive a wedge between writer/producers and the network that’s showing the Emmys: Angela Bromstad, taking over for the departed and unlamented Ben Silverman, kind of blamed the whole thing on CBS and implicitly presented her network as the pal of drama writers, who are steaming mad about the whole thing.
The biggest mistake, apart from the decision to pre-tape these awards in the first place, was deciding to leave one writing award in the show complete (comedy) while pre-taping the other (drama). Nothing else showed more clearly that there was no clear reason or pattern to which awards were cut, apart from the belief that the shows honoured were too boring or had too little mass appeal; the reason the drama award was pulled was that Mad Men is sure to win again, and few people watch it or its network. But non-nominated drama creators understandably took this as a snub not just against Mad Men but against drama writing in general.
Not that the Academy could help its cause any by announcing that there was no harm meant to the craft of TV writing, they just think the CBS audience finds Mad Men boring.
How about a compromise: they put back the Mad Men awards and have them pep up the show by forcing the Mad Men cast to perform musical numbers from one of the show’s acknowledged influences, How To Succeed In Business Without Really Trying.