At the moment, we’re still a good month or so away from learning whether or not Outlander is going to get a nomination at the 2019 Primetime Emmy Awards. It will be exciting if it happens, though we also recognize fully its underdog status. We’ve written about it before, and we’re sure that it will be a subject of conversation again when we get to the other side of the nomination announcement.
What we want to talk about further in this piece is the correlation between getting an Emmy nomination and then actually carrying that over into something more — take, for example, viewership. Doesn’t getting a nod in a major category actually help your show?
We think that, over time, there has been evidence of this all over the map — sometimes it helps, and sometimes it’s pretty much nil. In the case of Arrested Development, for example, it proved to be fairly ineffective — the series was canceled by Fox after a short run and while you can say that the Emmy success it had helped in order to give it a little bit of a longer run, it didn’t completely alter its future on Fox. We think that the cult following more so than any nominations is what led to it getting a revival over at Netflix.
Conversely, you can make a huge case that the Emmy love for Breaking Bad star Bryan Cranston is one of the reasons why that show was able to build a huge audience. Viewers saw the show getting some love, discovered that it was on Netflix, and were then able to dive in and give it a great deal of love and attention on the other side of that.
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This is where Netflix enters the picture
If Outlander wasn’t on Netflix, we’re not sure that a major Emmy nomination for the show or a cast member would boost its ratings all that much. It’s not often someone sees a category at an awards show and decides that they’re going to start subscribing to a premium-cable series like Starz just because it looks intriguing.
Having it on Netflix, however, is a different story. Let’s say, for example, that Caitriona Balfe and Sam Heughan get acting nominations and are featured in the Emmy broadcast later this year. This could inspire viewers to check out the show and see what the hype is … and because the first two seasons are on Netflix, they’ll check it out. We’ve already theorized that Netflix can be a great conduit to all sorts of other future stuff for Outlander on Starz; viewers who watch it for two seasons on Netflix may be inclined to go find the rest rather than waiting around for the other seasons to arrive. This is where Starz can make more money!
The conclusion we’re drawing
It may not have been the case previously, but we believe that Outlander is now in a position to benefit from an Emmy nomination more than ever before. We’ve seen it happen in technical categories, and we’re hoping that this is the year it can make it big on one of the featured ones that get a lot of airtime. Could it be the thing that gets the show record ratings in the future? Maybe not, but we think via Netflix, there’s a path now for it to get a bump that it never had before.
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What do you think: Could Netflix end up helping Outlander secure more viewers after a potential Emmy nod? Share below. (Photo: Starz.)