Starz president Chris Albrecht isn’t beating around the bush when it comes to the lack of Emmy love for critical and audience darlings like Outlander and Black Sails. Simply put, Albrecht says Starz simply doesn’t have enough money to launch a proper Emmy campaign.
“I don’t think we’ll ever break through with those people on those shows. I was part of the team that invented how to campaign for Emmy Awards,” Albrecht said during the Starz panel at the Television Critics Association fall previews on Monday. “Trust me, it’s not a level playing field. I spent years inside the TV Academy, working it. It took a lot of money, and there’s a certain amount of momentum that goes along with that.”
That’s not to say that Albrecht doesn’t believe his shows are worthy of awards. The production and writing on Starz’s original programming could stand up to any of the other premium and network cable shows. It’s the process that doesn’t allow for newcomers to have a fair share at the top prizes, especially in the current era of “Peak TV.”
“It’s a very distinct group of people, no matter how they try and expand their membership base,” Albrecht said of the Television Academy. “They should be finding a way to … have something that reflects this expansion, instead of [their process, which] by sheer numbers … ends up with a longer list of losers and the same number of winners.”
Albrecht says he’s confident that Starz will eventually stumble on a show that gets recognition the Academy, but it still won’t explain why they’ve been left out in the cold thus far.
“I know that people who work on these shows would like to see their names alongside their peers. There will be a show that comes along. We won’t know what one it is,” he said. “There won’t be a better reason [to nominate it over] Outlander or Survivor’s Remorse, it’ll just be a reason.”
Albrecht also said that his focus isn’t on awards at all, especially after Starz’s disappointing night at this year’s Golden Globes. (Outlander’s Caitriona Balfe and Tobias Menzies received acting nods, but neither pulled out the win.)
“Why do we go to the Globes? I love those people. They rarely let anyone go home empty-handed, but we went home empty-handed this year,” he said. “I was really surprised. I was like, ‘Wow, okay. What does this mean?’ This is all silly.”
Do you think shows like Outlander and Black Sails deserve Emmy recognition?