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Emmy FYC events bring back stars and writers a year after strikes

Emmy FYC events bring back stars and writers a year after strikes


A year after Hollywood strikes turned Emmy campaigning into a mostly low-key endeavor, For Your Consideration events are back in full force in 2024. Networks, studios and streamers have already launched a series of activations to celebrate their award contenders, at the top of the usual series of panels, with their stars back front and center.

What a difference a year makes. In 2023, FYC events were forced to pivot when the Writers Guild strike began on May 2 – just as the campaign was shifting into high gear. In most cases, the show's stars didn't feel comfortable continuing with the events (and in many cases, they even declined media interviews, although they were still allowed). Then talent protested in their own strike in mid-July, right after the Emmy nominations were announced.

It was then up to the directors and artisans to promote their shows. “We definitely did a lot of jazz last year to make people feel good,” one awards director said of hosting events while navigating boundaries.

This is not the case this time. Many challenges remain as the industry attempts to return to a sense of normalcy, in an environment where no one has yet truly understood the new normal. But despite all of this – or perhaps because of all of this – crowds eagerly return to celebrate their favorite shows.

“I feel like everyone seems rejuvenated after last year,” says another awards official. “Academy and guild voters seem very enthusiastic about attending FYC events. There is a strong desire to attend anything that includes a large number of talent, and attendees are very happy if they can greet the talent and take a quick snapshot.

Another awards director says: “The crowd, the voters are happy to be back. The talent is happy to be back. It just feels like, “Oh yeah, this is what we do.” » This is not just window dressing. This is legitimate.”

It can be difficult to compete against talent who aren't happy about having to fight for accolades on projects they filmed a year or more ago. But after having to stay away during strikes, even they seem energized on the campaign trail – and they surprise publicists by agreeing to do things they might not have done before.

“I feel like there's a sense of enthusiasm that I haven't felt in years past,” says one executive. “I really see our talent coming out and mingling with the audience, rather than just going straight to their cars after the panel is over.”

Part of this could be because, in many cases, these shows or seasons were created without much fanfare in the midst of last summer's or early fall's strikes. Because there was no real first
or a press conference to promote the work, it all seems fresh.

“Rather than being tired and being asked the same question they've answered a million times, it feels like they're answering these questions for the first time,” a close source said. “And I think that enthusiasm is contagious when the audience feels it.”

Jessica Gunning, Richard Gadd and Nava Mau at the official screening of Netflix's ATAS “Baby Reindeer” (Photo by Emma McIntyre/Getty Images for Netflix)
Getty Images for Netflix

There are also a few animated shows in the pipeline that audiences want to get a taste of, like Netflix's “Baby Reindeer,” Prime Video's “Fallout” and Peacock's “The Traitors.” The “Traitors” panel, for example, was filled with participants partying all night long.

Another executive is amazed that even “things we thought were small were being packaged,” adding, “We got rejections every night. I think people are happy to come out. Mostly because I think they felt burned out by the last year.

There could also be a darker reason why these events are so crowded. Even though much production has resumed — and A-list stars are in high demand, making scheduling these FYC events extremely difficult — production still hasn't returned to its former levels. With so many people still out of work, this could be one reason why there are more FYC participants available than usual.

“You just have to chat with voters and a lot of them say: 'I can't find work,'” sighs one executive. “I feel for them.” FYC events are a good outlet for free entertainment, as well as food and drinks, which is perhaps also a welcome benefit for TV Academy members still struggling economically.

For Emmy campaigners, setting the right tone when so many people are still recovering from the blows is one thing. But it is also important not to remain deaf in the midst of troubling current events.

“With the state of the industry, with all the protests that are happening, you just want to be sensitive to what's going on in the world around you,” says one executive. This also applies within these companies, most of which have been hit by layoffs and budget cuts. One executive notes: “‘Do more with less’ is definitely the mantra. »

But it's still a much more manageable problem than last year, when streamers and studios opened their FYC houses just as the strikes hit. They're bringing these activations back with a vengeance this year, and the event calendar is packed.

“It’s become something that everyone does now,” says one executive. “I think it’s effective because it’s a good way to campaign for a lot of things. You simply invite someone in the door for an event and you can expose them to the rest of your list.

Netflix's “FYSee” spot opened May 12 at Sunset Las Palmas in Los Angeles, with “Griselda,” followed by events for “The Crown,” “Love Is Blind,” “Selling Sunset,” “The Gentlemen”, “3”. Body Trouble,” “Ripley” and more. The space included immersive worldwide activations for even more titles.

Carol Burnett and Kristen Wiig attend Apple TV+'s official Emmy FYC “Palm Royale” event (Photo by Amy Sussman/Getty Images)
Getty Images

Apple's Emmy FYC House at the Hollywood Athletic Club featured panels and exhibits for shows such as “Masters of the Air,” “Silo,” “Palm Royale,” “Lessons in Chemistry” and “The Morning Show.” The streamer also has planned pop-up spaces at Westfield Century City, Shops at Sportsmen's Lodge and Pacific Palisades Village.

At Amazon, the “Prime Experience” at Nya West included exhibits and panels for “Fallout,” “Expats” and “Mr. and Mrs. Smith.” NBCU's FYC Emmy Showcase at The Aster has scheduled events for “Top Chef,” “The Voice,” “Ted,” “Apples Never Fall” and more. Variety teamed up with Sony Pictures Television for an FYC party dedicated to shows including “For All Mankind,” “Platonic,” “Twisted Metal” and “Justified: City Primeval.”

The Emmy-themed “Disney FYC Fest,” returning to Hollywood’s DGA Theater, officially opens June 1 with “Fargo.” Like last year, exhibitions of costumes and souvenirs, as well as photo sessions on social networks, will be installed in the DGA hall.

So where does the return of star-studded panels leave the artisans, the craftsmen like the costume designers, music supervisors, production designers and many others who were the heroes of the last Emmy season? One executive says they haven't been forgotten, even as talent is once again in the spotlight. “We are not abandoning them,” she said. “We also campaign against them and give them a moment. »




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