The Television Academy announced yesterday that the anthologies American Horror Story, The Sinner and American Vandal won’t be allowed to compete in Limited Series and will be eligible in Drama Series and down the line in the Drama categories, or possibly Comedy in American Vandal‘s case (submission pending).
All three anthologies have recurring characters that appeared in their most recent seasons and the Television Academy said these re-categorizations are effective for the 71st Emmy Awards only.
American Horror Story: Apocalypse features the witches from Coven battling a grown-up Michael Langdon from Murder House, now the antichrist bringing on the end of the world. The Sinner features a new case but the return of Bill Pullman’s Detective Harry Ambrose from season one. American Vandal features a new school and a new scandal but brings back teen sleuths Peter Maldonado (Tyler Alvarez) and Sam Ecklund (Griffin Gluck) to help solve a new mystery.
Each of these shows had Emmy success in their first (or ongoing) seasons. The Sinner earned star Jessica Biel a Lead Actress in a Limited Series or Movie nomination while American Vandal earned a Writing nomination. American Horror Story has been an Emmy beast with 16 wins since it began in 2012, including acting trophies for Jessica Lange (twice), Kathy Bates and James Cromwell.
This isn’t the first time shows have been recategorized, even after being nominated and winning in their original one. Downton Abbey began as a limited series but was so successful (it reaped 11 nominations and 6 wins in the then called ‘Miniseries or TV Movie’ categories) and the first season of True Detective did the opposite – beginning as a Drama Series (where it earned 11 Emmy noms and 5 wins) – only to move over to the newly created ‘Limited Series’ category for its second season.
The nominations for the 71st Primetime Emmy Awards will be announced on July 16th.