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Why the Oscars’ Envelope Snafu Didn’t Hurt Its Chances With Emmy Voters

EmmyWrap Magazine: But if the Academy Awards actually wins an Emmy, can the presenters please mix up the envelope?


A version of this story first appeared in the Down to the Wire issue of TheWrap’s Emmy magazine.

When it comes to giving out awards to people for giving out awards to other people, the Emmys have always loved the Oscars. Not only have the Academy Awards won more Emmys than any other awards show over the years, but the Motion Picture Academy’s shindig back in February landed six more nominations this year, plus another one for Oscar.com’s “All Access” experience.

Meanwhile — and we know that this might be beside the point, but we’ll mention it anyway — the “And the Winner is … ” episode of “Feud: Bette and Joan,” set entirely on Oscar night, 1963, got another three nominations.

Plus, the two documentaries that won Oscars this year, the feature “O.J.: Made in America” and the short “The White Helmets,” are both up for Emmys. And there’s a little extra kick to their nominations, because the ESPN miniseries “O.J.” prompted a backlash that ended with multi-part docs being banned from Oscar consideration, while “The White Helmets” became the first Netflix film to win an Academy Award.

So yes, Emmy loves Oscar. And this year, that meant looking past that mess with the envelopes.

You remember it, right? An absent-minded accountant gave Warren Beatty the wrong envelope, and “La La Land” was initially announced as Best Picture instead of the rightful winner, “Moonlight.” The fiasco got a couple of PwC accountants tossed off the Oscar gig and caused abundant stress in the halls of the Academy, but it scarcely bothered producers Michael De Luca and Jennifer Todd when they talked to TheWrap about their nominations a couple months later.

“It’s live TV, so we never thought the envelope mix-up would restrict anybody’s appreciation of the show,” De Luca said. “If there was an awards show for accounting firms, I guess it would have impacted that.”

In fact, added Todd, the wild ending might actually have helped the Oscars. “The research and feedback we got said that the envelope was a very positive aspect of people’s watching experience,” she said. “The audience really liked that moment — as much as it was a surprise to us, it was a positive. They now know that anything can happen, which might actually help us with next year’s show.”

De Luca and Todd will be back to produce the show in 2018, and so will this year’s Oscar host, Jimmy Kimmel.

“This next show is the 90th anniversary, so we’re thinking about it with an eye to how special that is,” said De Luca. “But I think right at the top of our wish list is anything that gets us a slightly shorter show.”

Whatever the length, they can rest assured that Emmy voters will love them.

Read more from the Down to the Wire issue of TheWrap’s Emmy magazine.

EmmyWrap Down To The Wire COVER 2017