Why Outlander, Game of Thrones are not Emmy eligible this year

Emmy eligibleIn the midst of kicking off our Emmy Preview season this year, one of the questions we’ve received many times is pretty simple: What about Outlander? Why is Game of Thrones off of the list? They are two of the most-popular shows on the air, and at the moment, their impact on pop culture is significant.

Unfortunately, both shows this year do suffer from a case of one thing more so than anything else: Bad timing. They were both eligible last year for their most-recent seasons, and their upcoming seasons are not airing within the nomination window, which ended on May 31. Both Game of Thrones season 7 and Outlander season 3 will be eligible for the 2018 Emmy Awards, which will air of course in the fall of next year.

What sort of impact will the show’s premiere times have on that race? It’s a little hard to tabulate this far in advance, but there is something known as a recency bias that could give each one of them a challenge. For example, Outlander season 3 is going to premiere in September, and the finale will likely air in either late November / early December based on how the episodes are structured. Voters will need to remember the show for a good five-plus months before the balloting officially begins in June 2018. That’s a tricky thing to ask people, who may only be casual fans of the show, to keep it in the front of their mind. That challenge may be even more considerable for Game of Thrones, which will most likely end season 7 before Outlander even premieres. With season 8 of that show possibly not premiering until 2019, it has to hope that voters remember it for almost a full year.

On the flip side of all of this, the voting recency bias could actually help both of these shows in the Golden Globes a little bit later this fall, as both of them will be eligible for it and will still be fairly fresh in voters’ minds.

In some ways, it’s understandable that the rules are frustrating, and this will probably feel especially the case when the Emmys air this fall and Game of Thrones fans wonder why in the world their show is not included, especially when all of it has already aired at that point. (It’s possible that one or two Outlander episodes will have aired by the Emmy broadcast, but that’s it.)

For those who do want to look at this year’s Emmy race…

We are once again breaking down the categories and sharing our picks on a daily basis, and you can check all of that out over at the link here. (Photo: Emmys.)

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