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Emmy Nod Almost As Good As A Win

7/19/2010 12:01 AM Eastern

Every cable network wants to win an Emmy statuette to help
to build brand recognition with viewers, but executives say a nomination can also
bring prestige and promotional opportunities for their networks.

This year, 25 cable networks earned Emmy nominations for their original programming,
led by HBO’s 101 nods. The pay TV service is one of several networks developing
special on-air and print
spots congratulating the shows,
actors and writers who earned
nominations for the Emmys,
the winners of which will be announced
live on NBC Aug. 29.

Certainly, winning the golden
statuette can do wonders for a network’s
brand. Back-to-back Emmy
wins for AMC’s Mad Men for best
drama and Breaking Bad’s Bryan
Cranston for best actor in a drama
has put the formerly classic movie-
based AMC on the scripted series
map. Mad Men and Cranston
will look to make it three Emmys
in a row this year.

Clark Bunting, president and
general manager of Discovery
Channel, said gaining an Emmy
nomination helps confirm a network’s
excellence in developing
quality programming. Discovery
Channel earned 14 Emmy nominations
this year, including four
for reality series Deadliest Catch.
At press time the network had not
finalized any plans to promote its
multiple Emmy nominations.

“Sure I want to win … I wouldn’t
be running the No. 1 nonfiction
network out there if I wasn’t competitive,”
Bunting said. “I believe
that garnering Emmy nominations does underscore the Discovery Channel brand
but, more importantly, the great pains we go to in telling the best stories we can and
employing the most innovative techniques to deliver on that.”

At Travel Channel, which garnered a nomination for outstanding writing for a
non-fiction program for the series Anthony Bourdain: No Reservations, the recognition
provides a major promotional push for the brand and for the show.

“As a programmer, it’s always an honor to receive an Emmy nomination because,
in addition to the all-important ratings numbers, it reaffirms that you are doing it
right,” recently named Travel Channel president Laureen Ong said.

Networks with numerous Emmy nominations — like Lifetime Television, which
scored a network-record 11 nods — also catch the attention of the creative community,
increasing opportunities for top producers and actors to create projects, Lifetime
Networks president and general manager Nancy Dubuc said.

“Certainly, it’s always a positive thing when your programming is recognized
by industry peers,” Dubuc said. “While our record number of Emmy nominations
is a testament to the quality storytelling that represents Lifetime among
viewers, it will also help us to continue to attract strong talent and producers to
our network.”

TNT welcomed its three nominations for The Closer’s Kyra Sedgwick (outstanding
actress/drama series) and Beau Bridges (outstanding guest actor/drama series),
and Men of a Certain Age’s Andre Braugher (outstanding supporting actor/drama
series).

“The nominations are an acknowledgement from the best in the business that
you’ve done something that’s laudable,” said Michael Wright, executive vice president
and head of programming for TNT, TBS and Turner Classic Movies. “I think
it makes a positive impact on the brand, but it’s not something that’s central to our
original programming strategy.”

September