Next year’s awards season is going to be interesting. The Academy of Television Arts and Sciences announced last week a series of rule changes that will affect how televisions get categorized and therefore win the prestigious awards.
Some of the changes have long been needed as television programming has been evolving over the years while other rules have changed in what seems like an enigmatic or arbitrary direction.
A comedy series will now be considered as a program that is 30 minutes or less in length. A drama, on the other hand, is a series that is anything longer than 30 minutes. This will directly affect shows like “Orange is the New Black” which has been considered a comedy but will now move into the drama category merely because of length of time. Also, “Better Call Saul” has, up to this point, been marketed as a comedy. It will now have to shift gears in its marketing strategy to be considered for an Emmy next awards season.
The best comedy and best drama series categories will also include seven nominees instead of the previous 6. According to the press release, the change is to accommodate the growing number of new and amazing series that are unrecognized every year.
A miniseries has been retitled to be called “a limited series.” To be considered a limited series, the program must consist of a “complete, non-recurring story” in at least two episodes with at least a 150-minute runtime while not featuring an ongoing storylines in subsequent seasons.
The rule changes also divide up the Variety Series category into two subcategories: Variety Talk and Variety Sketch.
Guest actors have been redefined as anyone who appears in LESS than 50% of a show’s season. Examples of this would mean previous winner John Lithgow who appeared in “Dexter” would no longer be eligible
For the full list of changes, visit the official Emmys website.