FX on Hulu has an impressive slate of shows coming up, including the sci-fi thriller Devs from Alex Garland and the all-star drama Mrs. America starring Cate Blanchett. But despite the fact that these shows won’t actually air on the network, and will stream exclusively on Hulu, The Academy of Television Arts & Sciences has decided that they will be credited as FX series as far as the Emmys are concerned.
In a statement to Variety, an Academy spokesperson said, “We have determined that programming for FX on Hulu will be considered FX, partly because Hulu doesn’t have any real involvement in the development, creative or marketing of the shows.” Essentially, any awards or nominations earned by the programs released under the “FX on Hulu” banner will be counted as notches on FX’s belt rather than Hulu’s.
The decision makes sense, considering awards recognition should go towards the actual producers of a show rather than the platform that merely distributes it. And considering Disney owns both companies, I can’t imagine the higher-ups actually care too much about which network gets the credit as long as prestige credit is given. But the question becomes murkier as streaming platforms continue producing more and more original content.
“If you think about it, you now have this weird state of affairs, where you have Amazon, Netflix and Apple, where the platform and the programming brand are the same,” FX Networks CEO John Landgraf told Variety. “Then you have Disney Plus, which is a platform that has five brands. You have Peacock, which is going to have multiple brands. You have Hulu, that now has two brands.”
Confused yet? Yeah, me too. And things aren’t going to get any less so, a problem which the Academy promises to address. “The Academy will have to review on a case-by-case basis,” the spokesperson said. “In general, what we’ll be looking to see is if the platform is operating more like a network — with say over creative, production or marketing — or is it merely being used a means of distribution by the originating network.” Again, that makes total sense, but as big corporations like Disney continue to acquire more and more brands, expect the exact line of who deserves credit for what to get even murkier.