When you're aiming for an Emmy award nomination, sometimes you have to pull out the big gun to make an impression.
"Portlandia," IFC's acclaimed quirky comedy that pokes gentle fun at Portland, Ore., and its offbeat residents, has done just that as it launches its campaign to nab an Emmy award. The big gun: political strategist James Carville.
In an "IFC Campaign Headquarters" video that's posted on the network's website, Carville tells Emmy voters that they're going to get a campaign kit from "Portlandia" with all sorts of "goodies like bumper stickers and buttons."
"You've got to use the stuff," advises Carville. Getting more excited, he tells voters, "We're going to fight. We're going after the big shows in New York. We're going after the big shows in Hollywood."
He concludes with Patton-type determination, "All right. Let's put an Emmy on it."
Jennifer Caserta, IFC's president and general manager, said the network had to do something offbeat in its quest for nominations.
"Because the Emmys is such a crowded place, we had to think differently and bigger," she said. "We also wanted to play into the smarts that Emmy voters have, and we came up with a funny campaign that felt like 'Portlandia.' "
Coming up with the concept to make the quest a parody of an intense political campaign, the IFC team thought of getting Carville on board. "He's the most famous political strategist. He was incredibly excited about the idea," Caserta said.
"Portlandia," which recently completed its third season, stars Fred Armisen and Carrie Brownstein. The series has won a Peabody Award, been nominated for Emmys for writing and directing, and attracted several top names as guest stars.
Said Caserta with a laugh, "James is putting his reputation on the line, so he's gotta back a winner."