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Daredevil Showtime launches Emmy cyber-campaign

March 20, 2008 |  3:03 pm

Showtime — renowned for gutsy Emmy campaigning — just took its biggest gamble ever. Rumor has it that TV academy members finally learned how to program their VCRs just as they got hit with an avalanche of DVDs in recent years. Now the brave pay TV channel is sending voters to the Internet to view original programs up for award consideration!

Can't you just hear an acad member saying the same words uttered by Fred Willard in Christopher Guest's spoof of Oscar campaigning, "For Your Consideration" — "Internet . . . that's the thing with e-mail, right?"

Two weeks ago Showtime sent TV academy members a small, modest gray package with a special, individualized code on the cover that gives them access to view full seasons of "Dexter," "Weeds," "Californication," "The Tudors," "Brotherhood" and more programs online.

"Showtime is doing something innovative this year to bring you our shows in the fastest and most eco-friendly way during the 2008 Primetime Emmy season," says an inside note. "Your personalized code is on the cover sheet of this brochure and will allow easy entry into an exclusive online video player giving instant access — 24/7 — to screen all of the Showtime original programs at"

Oh, yeah, also enclosed are three DVDs with a sample programs in traditional viewing format. The current campaign package was sent more than a month before the big, ambitious box Showtime sent last year, which was the first of campaign season. (CLICK HERE to see.) A few years ago Showtime shipped its campaign box, even earlier, in January. This year FX got a jump on everybody, shipping sample episodes of "Damages" last year!