The Television Academy has ruled that it will no longer allow Oscar-nominated films to compete for an Emmy. The new rule will go into effect in 2021.
The ruling, which happened back in March, is just being made public today as a result of the film academy’s recent loosened restrictions due to the coronavirus pandemic that makes an exception for streaming only films eligible to compete for the Oscars.
“The Television Academy supports the recent decision from the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences to allow feature films, originally intended for theatrical distribution but made available via streaming or video on demand during the current pandemic crisis, to compete at the 2021 Oscars,” the TV Academy wrote in a statement. “Further, the Television Academy ruled in March that effective in 2021, programs that have been nominated for an Oscar will no longer be eligible for the Emmys competition.”
In recent years, documentaries have dipped their toes in both pools, being nominated and winning Oscars then airing on television and competing there as well. Both Free Solo and O.J. Made in America won the Documentary Feature Oscar then went on to become Emmy winners for directing. The long-established rule that a film cannot premiere on television before a theatrical release still stands, even with the new rule established for this year. For example, HBO’s Bad Education, which is Emmy eligible, cannot now hit theaters and become Oscar eligible.
“A documentary is often commissioned by a television network or studio that in the ramp up to its television premiere receives promotion on numerous platforms including theatrical appearances, in film festivals and awards competitions,” the org told Variety last year. “But so long as the documentary was conceived, financed and ultimately distributed as a television program, it is Emmy eligible… Why a television documentary is eligible for AMPAS’ feature awards is a question for AMPAS.”
The Television Academy, in the face of the pandemic, extended submission dates and voting periods as well as pushed the Emmy nominations announcement from July 14 to July 28.