The Edgar Nominations just came out… and LAW AND ORDER: CRIMINAL INTENT got four out of the five "Best Teleplay" nods. It’s astonishing to me that the judges could do that when there are so many great mystery shows out there… THE WIRE, THE SHIELD, THE SOPRANOS, LAW AND ORDER SVU, CSI, WITHOUT A TRACE, NYPD BLUE, NCIS, THE PRACTICE, 24 and COLD CASE to name just a few. We are enjoying a bounty of crimes shows on TV today… but you wouldn’t know that looking at the narrow nominations. Instead of celebrating the wonderful diversity and quality of crime shows on TV today, we nominate L&O:CI four times.
It’s no mystery why it happened: the committee didn’t reach out beyond what was sent to them. Rene Balcer, the executive producer of L&O:CI, inundates the committee with cassettes of every single episode. No other show, or producer, is as diligent about submitting work as he is. He makes it easy for them.
I’m not saying L&O:CI isn’t deserving of nomination ( it certainly is) or that Rene was wrong to submit as many episodes as he could (I would, too!) but giving the show four out of the five slots? That’s just wrong. Did the committee members actually watch any television this year?
When I’ve served on the best movie committee, we didn’t wait for the films to be officially submitted…we went out and watched every mystery/crime movie that was released on our own. We took some initiative (otherwise the only nominees would have been the two producers who sent us their movies). Clearly the committee this year didn’t take the initiative… and it’s a shame. The Edgars, at least in TV, are less relevant because of it.
By the way, here’s a list of the shows that submitted episodes/screeners to the committee…you’ll notice more than half of the 55 submissions came from L&O:CI (16) and L&O:SVU (14).