When the Television Academy announced in 2011 that they were going to merge the Made for TV Movie and Miniseries categories, it had many of us scratching our heads. Not only are both categories in full bloom of possibilities for competition, networks are freely embracing the new ‘anthology’ of shows like American Horror Story and True Detective. Thankfully, a movement started late last year to split these categories up again and it was approved. Ironically, they also changed the amount of nominees in the directing, writing and performing categories from five to six. The dilemma here is obviously going to be what is presented in the Primetime Emmy telecast and what is relegated to the Creative Arts Emmys like the Guest Acting categories are. The Emmys also previously announced that they would be switching the primetime telecast to Monday this year for the first time.
The Emmys are also splitting the Outstanding Reality Program category into two sections; Outstanding Structured Reality Program (like Antiques Roadshow, MythBusters, etc.) and Outstanding Unstructured Reality Program (like Pawn Stars, Duck Dynasty, etc.) because of “a general industry uptrend in two different types of narrative reality programming.” Structured and Unstructured, really? That was the best name(s) they could come up with? I’ll predict a name change for those within two years. And really, who are they kidding calling something like Duck Dynasty “unstructured” anyway? That, as are most ‘reality’ shows are the most carefully plotted out shows on television.
The Voiceover category has also been split, now becoming Outstanding Narrator and Outstanding Character Voice-over Performance. A good change, I think, as the two types of work are vastly different.
Finally, a change was approved called the “2% Rule” in which a comedy or drama series that is within 2% of votes of 6th place in the first round will automatically become a 7th nominee.
Full list of changes and details:
Separation of Outstanding Miniseries and Movie Program Category
Outstanding Miniseries or Movie will now be split into two separate program categories. The new categories will be Outstanding Miniseries and Outstanding Television Movie. This separation is only for the program category with all other awards in the category remaining combined between the two formats. Movies and Miniseries were consolidated into a single program category in 2011 due to a general industry downtrend of the genre. The Television Academy acknowledges the increased programming of both movie and miniseries over the past three years and returned them to their pre-2011 status as separate program categories.
Split of Outstanding Reality Program Category
Outstanding Reality Program will now be separated into two categories – Outstanding Structured Reality Program (i.e. “Antiques Roadshow,” “MythBusters,” etc.) and Outstanding Unstructured Reality Program (i.e. “Pawn Stars,” “Duck Dynasty,” etc.). As with miniseries and movies, there is a general industry uptrend in two different types of narrative reality programming and the split accommodates that trend.
Split of Outstanding Voice-Over Category
Outstanding Voice-Over Performance will now be separated into two categories – Outstanding Narrator and Outstanding Character Voice-Over Performance. As with longform and reality, this split acknowledges and accommodates a general industry uptrend in the distinctly different achievements that are VO narration and VO character performance.
Increase in Number of Nominees for Directors, Writers and Performers in the Miniseries/Movie Category
The number of longform nominees in writing, directing and performing has been increased from five to six nominees. Additionally the final voting procedure has been changed from a preferential vote in which nominations are ranked one against the other in a head-to-head competition to a ratings-score vote, in which each nomination is considered on its own terms and given its own score (with the top scorer emerging as the award recipient).
Implementation of the 2% Rule for Outstanding Comedy and Drama Series Categories
The 2% rule will now be applied to the comedy and drama series program categories. Under this change, a comedy or drama series whose total first-round votes are within 2% of the sixth place series would also receive a nomination, creating the possibility of seven nominees in each category. Previously the 2% rule had only applied to categories with five nominees.
Outstanding Technical Direction/Camerawork/Video for a Series
This award will now be classified as an area award with the possibility of one or more than one award. The nominations would continue to be proportioned according to the entries. Additionally, the number of nominations will be increased from five to six.