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Drama Series Could Expand to 10 Noms

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  • ItsNotMe
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    #240335

    Per Variety:

    ‘Downton’ shift causes Emmys to ponder



    The move of PBS’ “Downton Abbey” from miniseries to drama series for this year’s Primetime Emmy race could be the impetus for the TV Academy to expand the drama series category to 10 nominees next year.

    So says John Leverence, awards chief at the Academy of Television Arts & Sciences, who emphasized that the earliest any shift might happen would be the 2013 Emmy race.

    “It’s an abundance of riches,” Leverence told Variety. “Maybe someone will say we have to have 10 nominees, like the motion picture academy. That argument could be made for the extraordinary abundance of shows. Maybe six isn’t enough.”

    The Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences expanded its best picture category to 10 nominees for the ceremonies held in 2010 and 2011, but then shifted to a weighted percentage system that yielded nine nominees for the Oscar race that wrapped Sunday. The TV Acad has increased its series nominee slots as well of late, expanding from five to six in the drama and comedy categories.

    Having “Downton Abbey” switch from miniseries to drama was instigated by the Academy, not PBS, which carries the popular British drama as part of its “Masterpiece” series. According to the Emmy rule book, a show is a miniseries when it is “based on a single theme or story line, which is resolved within the piece.”

    The move to a drama series is precipitated when there is an “ongoing theme, storyline and main characters that are presented under the same title and have continuity of production supervision.”

    In short, Leverence explained, “The essence of a miniseries is a single theme or storyline that’s resolved within a given year.” When it was obvious that the sprawling family drama set in pre- and post-World War I Britain, would have a second season, the nominating committee began to have discussions about moving it to drama series.

    “Downton” surprised bizzers last fall when it beat a field that included HBO’s high-profile “Mildred Pierce” to win the Emmy for miniseries or movie — before the Brit import caught fire on this side of the Pond

    PBS did not put up a fight over the category switch.

    Said “Masterpiece” exec producer Rebecca Eaton: “We understand the Academy’s decision. There are great shows in the drama series category and it will be exciting to have ‘Downton Abbey’ in competition with them.”

    Also making the move from the longform field to the more competitive drama series heat will be British import “Luther,” which airs on BBC America. Star Idris Elba was Emmy nommed last year and earned a Golden Globe in January.

    While the move from mini to drama series is unusual, it’s not unprecedented. Leverence listed three other shows that have made the switch: In 2005, USA Network mini “The 4400” was transitioned to the drama series category a year later. Also making a category transformation was Showtime’s “Sleeper Cell” in 2007 and USA’s “The Starter Wife” in 2008.

    Now with both “Downton Abbey” and “Luther” in the drama series mix, the category will have a plethora of top candidates. In addition to last year’s six nominees, five of which will be vying for another chance to repeat — “Mad Men” (winner), “Boardwalk Empire,” “The Good Wife,” “Dexter” and Game of Thrones” — there are several newcomers looking for kudos recognition.

    Freshman series that will aim to receive awards love include Showtime’s “Homeland,” NBC’s “Smash,” ABC’s “Revenge,” HBO’s “Luck,” AMC’s “Hell on Wheels,” FX’s “American Horror Story,” and USA’s “Suits.”

    “It’s hard to predict,” said one network publicist about how the race will play out. “It’s kind of a unknown quantity at this point. It’ll be interesting for sure.”

    The Leverance quote seems more like a general answer about how Drama Series is stacked and competitive – especially with the addition of Downton Abbey – rather than him saying that they’re actually considering implementing this change. But it could also be something that they’re discussing internally, who knows. Personally, I’m against the idea.

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    Renaton
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    #240337

    I don’t know how to feel about this. On one hand, yes, we do have at least 10 truly great dramas right now. On the other one, what’s the guarantee that if you expand all of the nominees will be good shows? The Oscars thought it would make their nominees better, but for every “Tree Of Life”, there’s always an “Extremely Loud And Incredibily Close”.

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    Anonymous
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    #240338

    I like the way the category is set up now. I think having ten nominees would be a little much, but I can see the argument where worthy shows would be able to get recognized.

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    outsider
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    #240339

    Also making the move from the longform field to the more competitive drama series heat will be British import “Luther,” which airs on BBC America. Star Idris Elba was Emmy nommed last year and earned a Golden Globe in January.

    “Luther” will compete as a drama series? How is that possible? It aired four episodes/parts this season and a show needs six episodes to be eligible in the field.

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    ItsNotMe
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    #240340

    ^Something’s gotta give in this case. It can’t stay in miniseries because it’s not one, so I guess they’re gonna have to bend the rules a little to accommodate it in series.

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    Trent
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    #240341

    If it has to expand to 10 on the drama side, it would have to on the comedy side as well?

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    ItsNotMe
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    #240342

    ^Wouldn’t make sense otherwise. (I just copied the subtitle of the Variety article for the title.)

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    eastwest
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    #240343

    Interesting is how I sum up my insight on this. If they implement the system they have for determining the top 10 a few yrs. back for the potential move to 10 series nominated, this will work well, b/c under that system it was a good mix of shows in each of those categories. And given how the academy have started to be aware of so much good television on air, this could be something that is a good thing.

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    Riley
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    #240344

    This is the worst idea ever.

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    sorcery
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    #240345

    Why is the lukewarmly-received second season of Downton Abbey causing the Emmys to ponder? 

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    A Person
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    #240346

    God no.

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    iskolar
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    #240347

    Please no

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    Madson Melo
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    #240348

    No!!

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    Andrew Eng
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    #240349

    Keep it at 6. Don’t increase to 10. It diminishes the value of the award. 

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    24Emmy
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    #240350

    No, keep it at 6.

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