It feels like it’s been a long time since we’ve written about Outlander in relation to the Emmys, and for a good reason. The show isn’t eligible for them this year, thanks to there not being a season of the show within its 2017 eligibility window.
Yet, it’s never too early to start looking towards the future, right? Season 3 will be eligible for the 2018 Emmys, and hopefully, this will mark a chance for the show to break out at an awards show that has not given it nearly enough love over the first two seasons. The snub of Sam Heughan after “To Ransom a Man’s Soul” in season 1 was infuriating; the snub of Caitriona Balfe following “Faith” in season 2 was equally so. The show itself is visually arresting, superbly written, and the costuming and music are out of this world. (It has been nominated for its costuming, its music, and its production design in the past, but has yet to take home a trophy.)
What can the series do in order to turn things around, and get some nominations that are very likely deserved (we’re assuming that season 3 is every bit as great as the first two)? There are a few simple things, and some of them the fine folks at Starz and Sony are already in the process of doing.
1. A larger profile – The first two seasons suffered almost in that they were too popular to check the early Breaking Bad box of “it’s so obscure that it’s cool and hip,” but also not popular enough to get the mainstream nominations a la Game of Thrones or Mad Men. With the show airing on Sunday nights this fall, it is suddenly getting more prime network real estate. This, in turn, should lead to more viewers and further attaining mainstream hit status. The rise in star power for both Balfe and Heughan should also prove to be an asset.
2. More nominations elsewhere – Both the show itself and Caitriona have receive nominations at the Golden Globes before, and given the timing of the show’s season 3 premiere to the voting window to when Globes nominations are announced, we’re confident that more could be coming. The more this happens, the more like Emmy voters will realize they’re missing out on something great. Golden Globe wins have boosted performers like Jon Hamm, Ruth Wilson, and Gina Rodriguez; it doesn’t always lead to an Emmy nod or a win, but it helps.
We also do think winning People’s Choice Awards in this case helps — it doesn’t always with network shows, but remember that Outlander fans managed to beat out shows with significantly larger viewerships for the PCAs earlier this year. That’s something that voters everywhere should recognize.
3. Campaigns – This stuff does help in terms of generating exposure, especially if it’s done in a way that is smart or clever. You never want Emmy voters to feel like they’re being overwhelmed with a push for a particular show (that can turn some of them off), but they need some subtle reminders here and there that a show is fantastic and deserves some love. That can be done by the network or the studio; it could also be done by the fans.
Do Emmy nominations matter in the end? Not so much in comparison to the quality of the show and the appreciation fans have for it. Look at Battlestar Galactica (another Ronald D. Moore production) — it did win a few Emmys over the years, but not in the major categories and it is still considered one of the greatest shows of all time. Winning awards is just nice validation for a job well done, but with a fan base this passionate, it’s probably pretty clear to Outlander and its cast/crew already that they are doing something right.
Want some other Outlander news?
When it be photo analysis or a discussion pertaining to the show and the books, you can check out all of it right now over at the link here. (Photo: Starz.)