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July 7, 2010 by · Leave a Comment 

Borrowing a page from the Facebook campaign that landed Betty White a Saturday Night Live hosting job, fans of actor Zach Gilford mounted a similar campaign in hopes of securing him an Emmy nomination for the low-rated Friday Night Lights. Today’s (Wednesday) Los Angeles Times reported that the campaign, which effectively bypasses the traditional “For Your Consideration” marketing drive by network publicists, was instigated by Mike Hess, who was managing editor of AOL’s PopEater website when he saw Gilford’s June 4 performance as a teenager who loses his father in the Iraq War. “It was so just jarring or moving,” Hess told the Times. “It was one of the best hours of television I remember seeing.” John Leverence, head of the TV academy’s awards unit, has endorsed such campaigns, telling the newspaper that it evens the playing field for performers who are overlooked by the networks’ Emmy campaigns. “There’s always been a have and have-nots in terms of these campaigns,” Leverence said. “[Social media] is definitely an opportunity for the little guy — without the financial resources — to enter in.” Whether the campaign on behalf of Gilford will prove to be successful will become known on Thursday when Emmy nominations are announced.