The Blackout is only NU group nominated for The College Emmys


Courtesy of The Blackout.

A screenshot from the “Quarter Update.” The 39th College Television Awards nominated the news parody show under the Variety category.

Catherine Kim, Campus Editor

The Blackout is the only Northwestern group nominated for the 39th College Television Awards, also referred to as “The College Emmys.”

The group’s “Quarter Update” was nominated in the Variety category against productions from Emerson College and Savannah College of Art and Design. The “Quarter Update” is a parody news show released midway through each quarter by The Blackout, which specializes in live late-night shows. Although the segment has only been out for four quarters, Jake Daniels, one of the show’s writers, said its format is what makes it so appealing. The jokes the group uses to deliver news are often relevant and recent, the Communication senior said.

“We’ll find the absurd universe that exists within the reality in each story, and then we’ll try to push it as far as you can,” Daniels said.

Daniels added that viewers appreciate the familiar style of “Quarter Update,” which is similar to that of Saturday Night Live’s “Weekend Update.” Many are impressed by how closely the “Quarter Update” resembles other professional news parody shows in the market, he said.

The show also manages to display a wide range of news due to its crew members’ diverse interests, co-head writer Alex Fecteau said. This reflects The Blackout’s large crew, approximately 150 people, and its collaborative spirit, she said.

“I think it’s garnered such a positive response from such a wide range of people at Northwestern because it has many perspectives contributing to it,” the Communication senior said. “So you get stories that appeal or resonate with so many different populations at the school.”

Sarah Evans, a films segment producer, said the show has been a great opportunity to excite both crew members and the student population. The Communication junior said she enjoys seeing how enthusiastic people get during production, and the show is simply fun for the group to put on.

Evans added that the show gives students an opportunity to “see things in a better light” while tackling issues on campus.

“Also as an organization, our goal is always to be able to unite people and unite Northwestern through laughter,” she said.

Following their nomination, The Blackout is invited to Los Angeles for the official awards. The trip not only includes the actual award ceremony, but also workshops with professionals and networking opportunities. Because the hosting organization only sponsors one person’s trip to California, Daniels said they are reaching out to their advisor and the RTVF department for funding to send multiple members to the awards.

Max Kliman, another one of the show’s writers and consultant, said it is gratifying to receive recognition for the work they have done. Although he had always thought of their content as good, he said he was “shocked” to receive the approval of an objective third party. Compared to the other nominated shows, “Quarter Update” has only been out for four quarters and does not have the same “reputation,” the Communication senior said.

“It’s incredibly cool to have other people go, ‘Look, we’re not even at Northwestern, and we think what you’re doing is cool,’” Kliman said.

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