We won't know until Monday afternoon how many people tuned in to the Tonys, but Netflix is hoping at least some Emmy voters were among the viewers.
During the Tonys telecast Sunday night on CBS, the streaming service debuted two new ads for its comedy "Unbreakable Kimmy Schmidt," starring Ellie Kemper, Tituss Burgess and Tony nominee Jane Krakowski. These were "For Your Consideration" ads designed to remind Emmy voters to consider giving them shiny trophies, or at least consider them for consideration.
The timing isn't coincidental: Emmy nomination ballots are due Monday, June 13. An extra jolt of recognition might remind last-minute voters of just how delightful Tituss Burgess is as Titus Andromedon.
The trouble with streaming originals is that we don't have a good idea of how many people are watching them, and so awards show hardware is one of the few metrics of success by which to measure them, as opposed to traditional ratings.
Not all networks are willing to sell spots to streaming services — even if those want them — but CBS has proved more than game; Netflix spots can frequently be seen while watching shows on CBS' site and its own streaming service, CBS All Access.
"Unbreakable Kimmy Schmidt" isn't Netflix's only comedy, and it's not the only one Netflix is putting Emmy campaign money behind. But the streaming network knows that shows like "Fuller House" and even the critically beloved, wickedly dark "Bojack Horseman" are long shots compared to a show created by Tina Fey and her husband, Robert Carlock.
Or at the very least, that Tony viewers are a little easier to sell on "Schmidt."
Jimmy Kimmel is set to host the Emmys on Sunday, Sept. 18, on ABC.