We’re now more than 24 hours away from the news that Outlander was snubbed at the Emmys. We’re not just talking about the show, or stars Sam Heughan and Caitriona Balfe. There were so many technical categories where the series deserved love and for whatever reason, it was overlooked.
We didn’t want to rush into some postmortem on what happened and if Starz needed to shake up their promotional strategy somewhat. With that in mind, what we’ve got today are a list of reasons why the series may have come up short. They’re just our theories, but it is still worth a read.
Heavy competition – We can’t ignore the fact that there was a TON of programming in 2020, including the surging Succession, the best season of Better Call Saul on record, and new-comers like The Morning Show with buzz-worthy casts. You had a mixture of established Emmy favorites and upstarts from big networks all vying for a spot.
Is there an issue with Starz? – For some reason, the Emmys just aren’t interested in recognizing their shows as much as they should. It’s not just Outlander here, as Power has also been frequently snubbed despite great performances and low ratings. We know that there are panels and marketing done, but whatever reason it just wasn’t resonating this year. The lack of in-person events likely hurt the show, as well, with the Emmys really favoring shows on HBO, Netflix, Hulu, Amazon, and even Apple TV+ to a certain extent. Starz isn’t the only premium cable network to have some struggles, as a number of Showtime programs like Billions and the final season of Homeland failed to get enough attention.
Also, it’s not fair to blame the network entirely here, given that Sony and individual publicity teams can also have roles in promotion. In general, it’s not really the right year to cast blame at all. A lot of people did their best and it just didn’t happen this year.
Emmy voter tendencies – While occasionally the Emmys will honor an overlooked show late in their run (or a performer like Jon Hamm who was long snubbed of a win), Outlander isn’t at the final season yet. Voters often favor newer shows that have a lot of fresh faces and ideas. Over time, some attention fades — it’s why This Is Us, an Emmy darling, had fewer acting nominations this year.
The genre of the show itself, and the media’s examination of it – Other than Game of Thrones, the Emmys don’t often look at series with fantasy elements. They also aren’t big on epic romances. The media in general doesn’t do a great job of promoting the show as a visually-stunning spectacle for the senses or one full of emotional, powerful moments. Instead, they focus on the “steamy” romance and the love scenes. That leads to generalizations, and stuff like that can hurt the show in the eyes of voters.
Our overall conclusion
It’s unfortunate the series got snubbed, and maybe it’s an “all of the above” situation. In the end, though, let’s just be grateful and love the entire cast and crew for what they do. We know that their performances both in front and behind of the camera are worthy, and in times like this, that feeling of gratitude and appreciation is a prize in itself. Awards are nice, but so is having a long-running show with a following this passionate … plus the opportunity to continue to do great work overall.
Of course, we welcome all of your thoughts on this article below, and we’ll have more news the moment that it comes out. (Photo: Starz.)