Emmys rule hour-longs ‘Glee,’ ‘Jane the Virgin’ and ‘Shameless’ can compete as comedies

The confusion caused when the Emmys introduced new classifcation critieria last month — with hour-long shows deemed to be dramas and half hours considered comedies — has lessened with the first rulings by a review committee. Returning hour-longs “Glee” and “Shameless” and newcomer “Jane the Virgin” will be allowed to enter as comedies. At least two-thirds of the nine-person panel (five industry leaders and four appointees from the Board of Governors) approved their petitions. Still to come is a decision on another 60-minute show, “Orange is the New Black,” which won three of its 12 Emmy bids on the comedy side last year. 

Given that “Glee” has always been looked on as a laffer and was even nominated for Best Comedy Series for its first and second seasons (2010, 2011), that decision was a foregone conclusion. 

Shameless” had submitted as a drama for its first three seasons but found little love from the Emmys, other than three consecutive bids for Drama Guest Actress for Joan Cusack. Last year, it was allowed to contend as a comedy and Cusack picked up another guest bid while William H. Macy reaped a Best Comedy Actor nomination. While he lost that race to Jim Parsons who won up his fourth award for “The Big Bang Theory,” he did prevail at the recent SAG Awards. That win might have been what tipped the laugh meter in its favor. 

Likewise, “Jane the Virgin” was nominated for Best TV Comedy/Musical at the Golden Globes in January and newcomer Gina Rodriguez won TV Comedy/Musical Actress. She could well ride the wave affection for her and the show to victory, much as “Ugly Betty” star America Ferrara did in 2007 for the first season of that hour-long adaptation of a telenovela. 

We hadn’t moved any of these shows over to the drama side in our predictions center. If you had been waiting for clarification from the academy before making your predictions, get started now by forecasting Best Comedy Actress below using our easy drag-and-drop menu. 

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