It’s been a long time coming. People have been asking for clarification on the rules and changes to the categories. Earlier this week, the Television Academy has responded with a number of changes for this year’s nominations.
The nominees for comedy and drama series categories will be increased to 7 nominees; previously there were 6. The comedy category is now defined as 30 minutes or less. Hour long comedy programs can qualify but producers may formally petition and Academy industry panel who will make the final decisions. So Orange is the New Black, who was nominated for Best Comedy last year, is no longer qualified for this category unless they petition the panel.
The Limited Series category replaces what was previously called miniseries. It’s defined as a series of program comprising of 2 or more episodes with a total running time of at least 150 minutes that tell a complete, non-recurring story, and does not have an ongoing storyline and/or main characters. Shows which previously qualified for this category like Luther or Sherlock no longer qualifies. However, this would be an appropriate category for True Detective or American Horror Story as each season we get new character (even if they might be played by the same cast of actors) and a new storyline. You might remember that True Detective received a lot of flak for submitting to the Best Drama category.
Guest Actor only applies to performers appearing in less than 50% of a program’s episodes. The Variety Series category has not been split between Outstanding Variety Talk and Outstanding Variety Sketch. The Talk category will be awarded during the Primetime Emmy telecast while the Sketch category will be awarded during the separate Creative Arts Emmy program that’s usually held a few days before the televised broadcast.
Finally, in order to expand member participation in the voting process and take advantage of online voting for both rounds, all voters who are eligible to vote during the nominating process are also qualified to vote in the final round as long as they meet two additional requirements. Simply, the voters must watch the required submitted material online and attest to no specific conflicts of interest with the nominees.
It’s a good start but I still think the Academy needs to expand their horizons a bit more. Like I’ve mentioned before, I really do think the Academy needs to recognize a Dramedy series category as there are so many programs that are neither here nor there. I wouldn’t consider Orange is the New Black or Glee to be a flat-out comedy but it doesn’t quite belong in the drama category either. I think that by considering these shows as comedies, it takes the attention from true-to-form comedies such as Galavant, a new comedy which just aired last month. Thoughts?