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Question: How Many Episodes Until “Guest” Becomes “Supporting”

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  • Tyler The Awesome Guy
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    #316412

    I was just wondering, how many episodes does a guest actor/actress have to be in in a season before he changes his/her eligibility from Guest Actor to Supporting Actor? I heard it was six at the maximum.

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    Riley
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    #316414

    It used to be six.  There is no limit now.

    Read http://www.goldderby.com/forum/topics/view/6707/page:11 for further information.

    If it were up to me, appearing in more than half the season would automatically be supporting and appearing in less than half would be guest, wholly regardless of billing.  Exactly half would defer to contractual status.

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    ETPhoneHome
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    #316415

    ^I agree with that view, except if they are major characters and then die. Look at Joffrey’s death. If it was in episode 5, then it would be hard to say that he wasn’t a supporting character, but they wouldn’t put him in guest for this season.

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    MrGoodWood
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    #316416

    Joan Cusack is on almost avery episode of Shameless, and she’s guest. Same for Cloris Leachman in Raising Hope.

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    Morgan Henard
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    #316417

    The rules on this are just so damn frustrating. Jack Gleeson completely deserves a nom for Guest Actor in a Drama yet isn’t eligible. A few years ago, Margo Martindale went Supporting – and won – while John Lithgow went Guest… And won. It’s a simple fix: If you’re in half of the episodes, you’re guest (this means 5 or less on a 10-ep series a la Game of Thrones; 11 or less on a 22-ep series a la The Good Wife; 4 or less on an 8-ep series a la Enlightened). Billing should have zero to do with it. I mean, the title says it all: GUEST. If you’re reporting to work everyday on a series – this means you, Joan Cusack – then you’re a series regular!  

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    sorcery
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    #316418

    The rules on this are just so damn frustrating. Jack Gleeson completely deserves a nom for Guest Actor in a Drama yet isn’t eligible. A few years ago, Margo Martindale went Supporting – and won – while John Lithgow went Guest… And won. It’s a simple fix: If you’re in half of the episodes, you’re guest (this means 5 or less on a 10-ep series a la Game of Thrones; 11 or less on a 22-ep series a la The Good Wife; 4 or less on an 8-ep series a la Enlightened). Billing should have zero to do with it. I mean, the title says it all: GUEST. If you’re reporting to work everyday on a series – this means you, Joan Cusack – then you’re a series regular!  

    Agreed 100%. 

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    Halo_Insider
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    #316419

    The rules on this are just so damn frustrating. Jack Gleeson completely deserves a nom for Guest Actor in a Drama yet isn’t eligible. A few years ago, Margo Martindale went Supporting – and won – while John Lithgow went Guest… And won. It’s a simple fix: If you’re in half of the episodes, you’re guest (this means 5 or less on a 10-ep series a la Game of Thrones; 11 or less on a 22-ep series a la The Good Wife; 4 or less on an 8-ep series a la Enlightened). Billing should have zero to do with it. I mean, the title says it all: GUEST. If you’re reporting to work everyday on a series – this means you, Joan Cusack – then you’re a series regular!  

    I agree with most of your points, but not quite with this. Gleeson had long been a major part of the show, and his presence in it was as a major supporting character, and I’m not sure that appearing in only 2 episodes necessarily negates that (after all, Nikolaj Coster-Waldau was only in 4 episodes of Season 2, but I’d still consider him a part of the main cast then). Contractual billing shouldn’t be the overriding factor, I’ll agree, but a main cast member should be submitted as such, especially when he had been in nearly every episode of the series up to that point.  

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    espnfan
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    #316420

    I have to disagree with you on the Joan Cusack placement.  I am fine with her being submitted/nominated as a guest actress, becuase her screen time is paramount to what a guest actress would have.  Even if she is in every episode of Shameless, she usually does not get more than 4-5 minutes of screentime per an episode. 

    And the oppostie has been true for Chloris Leachman on Raising Hope.  To my knowledge she has submitted herself as a supporting actress the past two seasons of Raising Hope.  Although I doubt she has more than 2-3 minutes of total screentime per an episode.  For whatever reason she chooses to submit as a supprting actor, and I am fine with that. 

    To me it should not really be based on how many episodes you are in, but what percentage of the season you are in.  I am not sure where the line should be drawn, but to me that makes the most sense.  Or maybe just like what people want with episodes above, if you appeared on screen for more than 50% of the season, then you should have to submit in supporting. 

    It might be tricker to determine than in a TV movie or Mini-series, but to my knowledge the academy uses a pecentage of screentime rule to be eligable for a nomination in the TV Movie/Mini category (or the Ellen Burstyn rule).  I believe it is 5% of the total show, which is why Debbie Reynolds was not able to be submitted/nominated for her work on Behind the Candelabra in 2013.  If they can do a percentage formula in the TV Moive/Mini category, they should be able to do something similar for the guest actor categories.

    Another good example might be Robert Morse of Mad Men.  I think he usually appears in over half of each seasons episodes, yet he only has 3-5 minutes worth of screen time in his episodes.  So even if he was in say ten episodes of any given season, he could still be considered a guest actor. 

    I disagree with the idea that number of episode should automatically determine your nomination placement.  As I gave examples above, number of epsiodes does not always correlate to screen time.  I would be more comfortable with a total percentage of screentime for the season determining the placement.

    I agree at some point there should be a cutoff between supporting and guest acting, I just do not know for sure where that line should be.  I think we can all agree in 2010 John Lithgow really pushed the limits of what a “guest actor” can be.  Or I am sure most of us thought that was kind of a crock that he submitted as a guest, especially considering he probably could have won in supporting actor.

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    Riley
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    #316421

    Just because you only have five minutes of screen time per episode, I do not think that that qualifies you as a guest.  Would that not make every single person on Game of Thrones except Peter Dinklage a guest?

    Gleeson had
    long been a major part of the show, and his presence in it was as a
    major supporting character, and I’m not sure that appearing in only 2
    episodes necessarily negates that (after all, Nikolaj Coster-Waldau was
    only in 4 episodes of Season 2, but I’d still consider him a part of the
    main cast then). Contractual billing shouldn’t be the overriding
    factor, I’ll agree, but a main cast member should be submitted as such,
    especially when he had been in nearly every episode of the series up to
    that point.

    Gleeson may have been supporting in past seasons, but
    the Emmys are only judging the current season, so it is irrelevant what
    his role was in past years.

    Billing is also somewhat arbitrary. 
    Your argument only works because Gleeson was contracted for this season
    with series regular status.  Someone like Elizabeth Mitchell on Lost
    had been a series regular for three seasons, then was a guest star for
    her fourth year on the show, since she died in the season premiere. 
    That is pretty much an identical situation to Gleeson, yet she was
    allowed to be nominated in guest and I bet that you do not dispute
    that.  The whole point that we are trying to make is that people in
    these identical situations should not be randomly submitting in
    different categories.

    I think that Coster-Waldau should have been
    allowed to submit in guest.  How is someone who appears in the season
    premiere, then does not appear again until the seventh episode of a
    ten-episode season a supporting actor like John Slattery or Aaron Paul? 
    His role in the second season sounds a lot closer to Jane Fonda, who
    appeared in just four episodes of a ten-episode season, but who was
    obviously a firm part of the show’s universe.

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    espnfan
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    #316422

    No, the people on Game of Thrones would not submit themselves as guest because their screetime in relation to their co-stars is enough to make them supporting.  Where as someone who only has one-five minutes of screentime per an episode would not be a supporting actor if their were several actors on the same show who get more screen time on a regular basis. 

    Or in other words, even though Robert Morse may appear in ten episodes of a season, the amount on screen time he has in his episodes is not equal to the screen time of say John Slattery, Vincent Karthesizer, or Jon Hamm.  Compared to the three of them, his time is minimal.  So even though he may appear in the same number of episodes as any of the above men, he should not have to submit himself as a supporting actor as his work is clearly not supporting.  Or I do not know anyone who truly considers Robert Morse a supporting actor. despite appearing in over half of his seasons episodes multiple times (I think the closest he ever came would be in “Shut the Door, Have a Seat”).

    What I am getting at is your billing should be in relation to the amount of time you are actually a part of the show.  In other words, if someone appears in ten episodes of a show, but only has two sentences of dialgue in each episde (a la Robert Morse), does that mean they are actually giving a supprting performance?  I think most of us would agree they are not. 

    And getting back to Game of Thrones, those five minutes of screentime any of their actors may have are still more substantial than the one or two minutes Dame Diana Rigg has in any given episode she is in.  In relation to her co-stars, she would certainly be considered a guest actress. 

    Determing your placement via screent time would not be done by comparing one show to another.  Something like this would be strictly done in relation to your co-stars on your show.  Or in other words, the cast of Game of Thrones would not look at the cast of Mad Men to determine where their placement is.  Neither would any two shows do something like that.  That is strictly determined for a show only in relation to their cast.

     

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    King Loso
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    #316423

    We need a “Like” button here at Goldderby! Well very put @espnfan.

    No, the people on Game of Thrones would not submit themselves as guest because their screetime in relation to their co-stars is enough to make them supporting.  Where as someone who only has one-five minutes of screentime per an episode would not be a supporting actor if their were several actors on the same show who get more screen time on a regular basis. 

    Or in other words, even though Robert Morse may appear in ten episodes of a season, the amount on screen time he has in his episodes is not equal to the screen time of say John Slattery, Vincent Karthesizer, or Jon Hamm.  Compared to the three of them, his time is minimal.  So even though he may appear in the same number of episodes as any of the above men, he should not have to submit himself as a supporting actor as his work is clearly not supporting.  Or I do not know anyone who truly considers Robert Morse a supporting actor. despite appearing in over half of his seasons episodes multiple times (I think the closest he ever came would be in “Shut the Door, Have a Seat”).

    What I am getting at is your billing should be in relation to the amount of time you are actually a part of the show.  In other words, if someone appears in ten episodes of a show, but only has two sentences of dialgue in each episde (a la Robert Morse), does that mean they are actually giving a supprting performance?  I think most of us would agree they are not. 

    And getting back to Game of Thrones, those five minutes of screentime any of their actors may have are still more substantial than the one or two minutes Dame Diana Rigg has in any given episode she is in.  In relation to her co-stars, she would certainly be considered a guest actress. 

    Determing your placement via screent time would not be done by comparing one show to another.  Something like this would be strictly done in relation to your co-stars on your show.  Or in other words, the cast of Game of Thrones would not look at the cast of Mad Men to determine where their placement is.  Neither would any two shows do something like that.  That is strictly determined for a show only in relation to their cast.

     

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    jay eff kay
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    #316424

    Charles Dance fits in the category more of a guest than Jack Gleeson if we are talking about Game of Thrones cast. HBO should have submitted him as guest rather than supporting

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    Riley
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    #316425

    Dance is billed in the main cast (like Gleeson), so cannot submit in guest.

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    That Don Guy
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    #316426

    Here’s what the 2013-14 Emmy rules say”
    “only those performers with “guest star” billing, or who are contracted as such, may enter in a guest performer category.”

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    jay eff kay
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    #316427

    Dance is billed in the main cast (like Gleeson), so cannot submit in guest.

    Yeah I know. I just find it funny because a guest like Diane Riggs had more screentime last season than actors with opening credits like Charles Dance and Stephen Dillane.

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