Emmy Rules Changes: Comedy & Drama Series Categorization By Time Eliminated

The Television Academy has announced rules changes for the 74th Emmy Awards.

The adjustment addresses the longstanding issue of comedy and drama genres’ evolution on television that has led to hourlong comedies, dramedies as well as half-hour series that are more dramatic than comedic, with series like Shameless and Orange Is the New Black changing categorization during their runs. A program’s length has now been eliminated as criteria for comedy and drama series categorization

Additionally, the TV Academy has extended the “no double Oscar-Emmy dipping” rule they imposed for documentaries in June to original movies. Any film placed on the viewing platform for the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences will now be deemed a theatrical motion picture and thus ineligible for the Emmy competition. That would prevent streamers to give some of their movies Emmy consideration if they didn’t land Oscar nominations.

The Academy’s Board of Governors affirmed the 2022 Emmy Awards rules and procedures, as recommended by the Awards Committee, which also include changes in the stunts and voice-over categories and expanded entry eligibility for various professionals working on reality programming, animation and special visual effects.

“This year our Awards Committee has worked with industry colleagues to further define program eligibility for the Emmy competition,” said Frank Scherma, Chairman and CEO for the Television Academy. “We’ve made great strides in differentiating what is eligible for our respective competitions, in concert with ongoing changes in content development and distribution.”

Here are details on the new Drama and Comedy series definitions that do not rely on time:

Categorization based on program length for a comedy or drama series has been eliminated. Episode length will no longer dictate submission categories. Instead, producers will now determine category submission with the stipulation that the Television Academy’s Industry Panel reserves the right to review the producer’s preference. Comedy and drama series are defined as programs with multiple episodes (minimum of six) in which the content is primarily comedic for comedy series entries or primarily dramatic for dramatic series entries. In addition, the ongoing theme, storyline and main characters are presented under the same title and have continuity of production supervision. The exception is programming under 20 minutes, which must be submitted in short-form categories.

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