The Television Academy made a big announcement late Wednesday evening that includes expanding the Comedy and Drama Series nominees for the 72nd Primetime Emmy Awards to eight. This comes just two days after announcing that the Governors Balls were canceled and that the two-night Creative Arts Emmys would be a virtual event.
“To align the nominations selection process across all awards categories and to allow for more inclusiveness in the recognition of excellence,” said Television Academy Chairman and CEO Frank Scherma. For other categories the number of nominees per category will now be a sliding scale based on the number of submissions in each category.
Scherma continued, “The increase in submissions is a reflection of the number of new voices, new television platforms and a tremendous growth in content from existing platforms across our industry. Despite production suspension resulting from COVID-19, there is a wealth of excellent work submitted for this year’s competition.”
Beginning this season, where nomination voting starts in just a few weeks, the Comedy and Drama Series categories will have eight nominees no matter how many shows are submitted (previous years saw a bump up to seven nominations, up from six in 2015) while the paired acting will have parity – meaning no more 7 or 8 nominations in Supporting Actress in a Comedy Series and five for Supporting Actor.
Here’s how the submission to nomination ratio looks:
1-19 submissions: A sliding scale between zero to 4 nominations
20-80 submissions: 5 nominations
81-160 submissions: 6 nominations
161-240 submissions: 7 nominations
> 240 submissions: 8 nominations
In the past, when there were ties the Academy’s 2% rule kicked in, meaning if the fifth and sixth top vote-getters were within 2% of each other, both would be nominated. In recent years, the Supporting Actress in a Comedy Series has seen 6, 7, and 8 nominees because of this rule. With these new changes, the 2% rule is no longer needed and has been eliminated.
Here’s what last year’s submission numbers looked like and how many nominees there would have been with the new rules:
Comedy Actor – 86 submissions (6 nominees)
Comedy Actress – 80 submissions (5 nominees)
Comedy Supporting Actor – 235 submissions (7 nominees)
Comedy Supporting Actress – 207 submissions (7 nominees)
Comedy Guest Actor – 168 submissions (7 nominees)
Comedy Guest Actress – 139 submissions (6 nominees)
Drama Actor – 108 submissions (6 nominees)
Drama Actress – 88 submissions (6 nominees)
Drama Supporting Actor – 372 submissions (8 nominees)
Drama Supporting Actress – 303 submissions (8 nominees)
Drama Guest Actor – 125 submissions (6 nominees)
Drama Guest Actress – 99 submissions (6 nominees)
TV Movie/Mini Actor – 44 submissions (5 nominees)
TV Movie/Mini Actress – 50 submissions (5 nominees)
TV Movie/Mini Supporting Actor – 115 submissions (6 nominees)
TV Movie/Mini Supporting Actress – 94 submissions (6 nominees)
The Television Academy previously allowed six nominees in Variety Talk, Variety Sketch, Structured Reality, Unstructured Reality and Competition categories, and five in everything else.
Nominations for the 72nd Emmy Awards will be announced by the Television Academy on Tuesday, July 28. As of now the Primetime Emmy Awards are still set as a live event for September 20 on ABC and will be hosted for the third time by Jimmy Kimmel.