Click Before You Vote

May 8, 2006  •  Post A Comment

Attention Emmy voters: The DVD or tape mailer is out and the Web site is in as a promotional tool for at least two shows competing this summer for prime-time Emmys, to be handed out Aug. 19 and 27 by the Academy of Television Arts & Sciences.

At CBS.com/csi, the producers of the three “CSI” series ask for “your investigation” of two episodes for each franchise.

And at VoteMadTV.com, Fox’s late-night Saturday show asks for your consideration of entries in best show, directing, art direction, costumes, hairstyling, makeup and writing categories.

“We had to do something different,” “MadTV” executive producer David Saltzman said.

VoteMadTV.com, which launched April 28, opens with a audio guide to the site voiced by cast member Jordan Peele impersonating Morgan Freeman. He closes with an admonition to “vote for ‘MadTV’ or may God have mercy on your soul.”

QuickTime is required to play the clips, but that may present a challenge only for The Insider, who is neither iPod-equipped nor iTunes-friendly, but who nonetheless feels hip just knowing that VoteMadTV.com exists.

For the “CSI” series, which consider themselves cutting-edge dramas set in the cutting-edge world of crime-solving technology, this was the year to “cut through the clutter of tape mailers,” said a spokeswoman for Paramount Network Television, which produces “CSI.”

The Insider had no challenges-other than those presented by a sensitive stomach-playing the streaming episodes offered on the Web site.

Paramount is mentioning the Emmy-related “CSI” Web site, which debuted April 26, in all its trade advertising.

Mr. Saltzman said that ads promoting VoteMadTV.com will be taken out in five craft-specific trade magazines. Two ads already have been published. The Web site launched April 28 and already has received almost 1,500 hits, according to webmaster Dylan Stewart. The site will stay up until the June 20 deadline for ballots.

Forgiving and Forgetting

It wasn’t that Fox News Channel anchor Shepard Smith needed no introduction when he moderated the opening panel at the Radio-Television News Directors Association convention in Las Vegas. But due to a snafu, when the introductory video clips were played before the discussion about “Hurricane Katrina: Lessons Learned” began, Mr. Smith got none.

Apologies were made then to Mr. Smith and were repeated in a letter hand-delivered by RTNDA President Barbara Cochran last week to Fox News headquarters in New York, home base of Mr. Smith.

“The fault was entirely ours and in no way reflects on the respect and admiration we have for you, respect and admiration that prompted us to seek you out to lead the session because we wanted to start our annual convention on the strongest note possible,” Ms. Cochran wrote.

The Insider is assured that as far as Mr. Smith is concerned, all apologies have been accepted.