Just a few days after some YouTube and Vine stars crashed the Daytime Emmys (and by crashed I mean crashed and burned, not showed up uninvited) it looks like one of YouTube’s classier acts is taking a real swing for the Emmy fences. A number of YouTube creators have submitted their web series under various categories, but the only competitor critics are taking seriously this year is The Fine Brothers, Benny and Rafi Fine, creators of the popular “Kids React” series among many others. The Fine’s are on this year’s Emmy ballot under “Outstanding Short-Format Non-Fiction Program.” Not exactly a prestige category, but one in which the YouTube auteurs have a real chance of being nominated, albeit an admittedly small one.
It’s only been a few short years since streaming video series were considered eligible for Emmy nominations. Even after the doors were opened to online video in 2008, it took five years for Netflix original series “House of Cards” to take home Emmy gold. No one is really anticipating a win for the Fine Bros, or any of their YouTube peers nominated in other streaming categories, but the chance at a nomination is a huge step forward for the YouTube community.
As Benny Fine recently told Mashable’s Josh Dickey, “The advantage to a thing like this is showing what new media is becoming … We used to be just two guys, but we’re a production company … a nomination would bring us to the spotlight.”
“Kids React” is just 1 of 98 web shows on the ballot, but it is unique for being the creation of YouTube natives rather than a spin-off product of an established television brand. A nomination would mean nosing out network produced supplemental web content like ABC’s “Agents of SHIELD: Declassified” and Jerry Seinfeld’s popular “Comedians In Cars Getting Coffee.” Still the series’ unique pedigree might give it the buzz it needs to escape the ballot sheet and earn YouTube its very first Emmy nom.
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