Emmy shockeroo: ‘American Horror Story’ switches categories

American Horror Story” has spooked the Emmy derby by leaping from the drama series races – where it competed at the Golden Globes and SAG Awards – to miniseries.

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The TV academy has decreed that it qualifies for both classifications, so FX network was given the option to put it in either race. Arguably, “American Horror Story” really belongs in the mini slots since its story arc had a beginning, middle and a finite end in season one. It just so happens that it has a better shot at winning there, too, since it won’t have to best “Mad Men,” which has never lost Best Drama Series in its four-year run. Competition in that category will be especially fierce since last year’s winner of Best Miniseries – “Downton Abbey” – is moving over to Best Drama Series where it will also compete against recent Golden Globe champ “Homeland.”

This category switcheroo by “American Horror Story” is truly terrifying news to HBO, which looked like it had the race for best movie/mini in the bag with “Game Change.”

The reason that the switch is so surprising is that “American Horror Story” competed in the drama slots at the Golden Globes (where it was nominated for Best Drama Series and won Best Supporting Drama Actress for Jessica Lange) and SAG Awards (where Lange won Best Drama Actress). Why didn’t FX network choose to enter the program in the movie/mini races at those kudos derbies?

The reason: FX didn’t want its fans to know that the first season would end with a firm finish. That might ruin some of its suspense.

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