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The Emmy Bounce

31 Jul, 2008 By: John Latchem

"Damages" earned seven Emmy nominations. Season one is available from Sony Pictures.

Studios in eager anticipation of the Emmy Award ceremony Sept. 21 in Los Angeles are using the event to promote the home video editions of the nominated shows.

Marc Rashba, VP of catalog and television marketing for Sony Pictures Home Entertainment, said the 29 nominations earned by Sony Pictures Television were the most in the studio's history.

Nominees currently available on DVD from Sony include Damages: Season One, which earned seven nominations, including for best drama series and best drama actress for Glenn Close; Rescue Me: Season Four (two nominations); The Company (six nominations); the Western Comanche Moon (five nominations), a Lonesome Dove prequel; and best made-for-TV movie nominees A Raisin in the Sun (three nominations) and The Memory Keeper's Daughter (one nomination).

Memory Keeper's Daughter streets Oct. 7 (prebook Sept. 4) at $24.96.

Two shows, “Breaking Bad” (four nominations) and “Canterbury's Law” (one nomination) have yet to be announced for DVD.

Rashba said Sony is supporting its Emmy-nominated titles with additional advertising, as well as stickers on the packaging to call attention to its status as an Emmy nominee. This includes putting stickers on new units being shipped to retailers, or sending teams to work with retailers to update current inventory.“The Emmys are becoming more and more important at retail,” Rashba said. “Many retailers do the obvious thing and put signage indicating the Emmy nominations. Online retailers (such as Amazon.com) are doing that more.”

Rashba said sales of DVDs of Emmy-nominated programs tend to jump the week of nominations and the week after the awards ceremony, especially if the show wins.

The show with the most nominations — HBO's John Adams with 23 — enjoyed a 45% spike in sales the week after the nominations were announced, according to Nielsen VideoScan data. HBO Video June 10 released the DVD set of the miniseries, based on David McCullough's book and starring Paul Giamatti and Laura Linney (both of whom were nominated) as John and Abigail Adams.

“We recently ran television ads for the DVD following the Emmy nomination announcement,” said Sofia Chang, SVP of retail marketing for HBO Video. “Emmy acclaim certainly brings great consumer awareness to the program.”

Other HBO Video titles on DVD that received nominations include best TV movie nominees Recount (11 nominations) and Bernard and Doris (10 nominations), the comedy special Extras: The Extra Special Series Finale (six nominations), the first season of “Flight of the Conchords” (four nominations), the second season of “Big Love” (one nomination), and the fourth season of “Entourage” (five nominations), which debuts on DVD Aug. 26.

“Given HBO's history and long list of Emmy-recognized programs, we develop programs at retail annually to promote those shows on DVD,” Chang said.

Lionsgate is refocusing its efforts on “Mad Men,” the AMC show that earned 16 nominations, including best drama series. The first season was released on DVD and Blu-ray Disc July 1. Lionsgate plans on putting a sticker on the discs to herald the Emmy tie-in.

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