Should the Emmys return to 1974-1978 categorization for longform television?

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  • Nate
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    #356712

    In 2012, American Horror Story entered in the miniseries categories at the Emmys. I was one of those decrying that as category fraud and warned that the only thing historically like that was the “Limited Series” categories used at the Emmys from 1974 to 1978, that were flawed, as Upstairs Downstairs shifted over those years, and bloated the awards with separate acting categories for performances in a “Limited Series” and those in a “Special.”  But now, with more shows charging through the door opened by this entry and now there even being episode submissions for acting in longform programming, I was wondering if maybe its time to return to separate acting categories with 4 categories of performances in programs now categorized again as “Limited Series” and 4 separate categories of performances in a “Television Movie.”

    Yes, this would create 4 new acting categories, but it seems to me to be the only way to create an “apples to apples” comparison that the Emmys seem to be moving closer to creating. Episode submissions for American Crime and American Horror Story performers seem fairer to compare performances from those shows, but now seem unfair to the performers in Bessie, who, I think, should be compared with supporting performances in other 2 or 3 hour productions.

    A big challenge occurs in years such as this one, when there simply weren’t many “Television Movies” in competition. In the program category, only Bessie and Killing Jesus were nominees that were inarguably “Movies Made for Television,” as the category used to be called, with the “series finales” of Poirot and Hello Ladies and the acquired Nightingale and Grace of Monaco filling out the category. There were many other submissions, which is why I suggested in the reactions thread that a threshold test (like used to be the case for the Oscars in the Original Song category) be established. I personally have no problem with more categories and fewer nominees in them, but do other posters have concerns with 8 longform acting categories? Is there any better way to approach a true “apples to apples” comparison in longform anymore or will “Television Movies” be doomed to getting overwhelmed by those capable of what I would argue is gaming the system within the current rules for the foreseeable future?

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    Riley
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    #356714

    Transparent, House of Lies and black-ish are very different shows, yet voters somehow manage to judge them against each other.

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    GoMe91
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    #356715

    Although we’re seeing a revival in limited series and miniseries, television movies (except on Lifetime, Hallmark, Disney and other Christian channels that very few people watch) are still becoming less common and relevant. HBO only produces a couple TV movies a year. No other premium channel produces TV movies (Showtime stopped in 2007). I think adding extra acting categories for TV movies seems a little excessive.

    I’ve personally never had too much trouble comparing  miniseries performances with movie performances. I’ve never favored one genre of another.

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    Tom
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    #356716

    This would be difficult to get 8 categories of worthy nominees if this were to happen in a year like this. Including the actual nominees who would have filled the other spots? My guess:

    **indicates actual nominees this year

    Lead Actor – Longform:
    **Adrien Brody / HOUDINI
    **Timothy Hutton / AMERICAN CRIME
    **Richard Jenkins / OLIVE KITTERIDGE
    Bill Paxton / TEXAS RISING
    Evan Peters / AMERICAN HORROR STORY: FREAK SHOW
    **Mark Rylance / WOLF HALL

    Lead Actress – Longform:
    Kelli Garner / THE SECRET LIFE OF MARILYN MONROE
    **Maggie Gyllenhaal / THE HONORABLE WOMAN
    **Felicity Huffman / AMERICAN CRIME
    **Jessica Lange / AMERICAN HORROR STORY: FREAK SHOW
    **Frances McDormand / OLIVE KITTERIDGE 
    Frances O’Connor / THE MISSING

    Lead Actor – Special:
    **Ricky Gervais / DEREK
    Nathan Lane / THE NANCE 
    Stephen Merchant / HELLO LADIES: THE MOVIE
    **David Oyelowo / NIGHTINGALE
    Haaz Sleiman / KILLING JESUS
    David Suchet / AGATHA CHRISTIE’S POIROT: CURTAIN, POIROT’S LAST CASE

    Lead Actress – Special:
    Helena Bonham Carter / WORRICKER: SALTING THE BATTLEFIELD
    Nicole Kidman / GRACE OF MONACO
    **Queen Latifah / BESSIE
    Saoirse Ronan / STOCKHOLM, PENNSYLVANIA
    **Emma Thompson / SWEENEY TODD 
    Alison Williams / PETER PAN LIVE! 

    Supporting Actor – Longform:
    **Richard Cabral / AMERICAN CRIME
    Michael Chiklis / AMERICAN HORROR STORY: FREAK SHOW
    **Damian Lewis / WOLF HALL
    **Bill Murray / OLIVE KITTERIDGE
    **Denis O’Hare / AMERICAN HORROR STORY: FREAK SHOW
    **Finn Wittrock / AMERICAN HORROR STORY: FREAK SHOW

    Supporting Actress – Longform:
    **Angela Bassett / AMERICAN HORROR STORY: FREAK SHOW
    **Kathy Bates / AMERICAN HORROR STORY: FREAK SHOW
    **Zoe Kazan / OLIVE KITTERIDGE
    **Regina King / AMERICAN CRIME
    Janet McTeer / THE HONORABLE WOMAN
    **Sarah Paulson / AMERICAN HORROR STORY: FREAK SHOW

    Supporting Actor – Special:
    Mike Epps / BESSIE
    Ralph Fiennes / WORRICKER: SALTING THE BATTLEFIELD
    Jason Isaacs / STOCKHOLM, PENNSYLVANIA
    Frank Langella / GRACE OF MONACO
    Tim Roth / GRACE OF MONACO
    **Michael Kenneth Williams / BESSIE

    Supporting Actress – Special:
    Khandi Alexander / BESSIE
    Candice Bergen / BEAUTIFUL & TWISTED
    Judy Davis / WORRICKER: SALTING THE BATTLEFIELD
    **Mo’Nique / BESSIE
    Cynthia Nixon / STOCKHOLM, PENNSYLVANIA 
    Parker Posey / GRACE OF MONACO 

    I think if this change happened we would just have more name checking happening. 

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    CaliCheese
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    #356717

    I think the last thing the Emmys needs is more bloating with additional categories to pigeon-hole every type of program into an apples-to-apples contest. It already takes two different ceremonies spread out over 7ish hours to get through what they do have, and as someone pointed out – the standard categories already feature different types of performances/formats that one could argue (not me) shouldn’t be competing against each other – i.e., Amy Schumer’s variety sketches versus Julia Louis-Dreyfus’ consistent portrayal of Selina Meyer. 

    It’s embarrassing enough that Grace of Monaco got nominated for anything, let alone imagining a scenario where it would have served as a slot-filler to prop up a whole other category classification. 

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    Nate
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    #356718

    Thanks for the interest in my thread, all! By referencing 1974-1978, I also wanted to emphasize that the categories could have fewer than the (now) standard 6 nominees. In these years, these categories would sometimes have 4, 3, or even 2 nominees. I’d be happy with that, as, this year, I would have only nominated Bessie and Killing Jesus for Outstanding Television Movie, a category that is considered to be so lacking in competition by the producers of the Emmys telecast that it’s moved to the Creative Arts Ceremony! If television movies continue to be produces more infrequently, but higher quality still exists from a handful of them, I’d rather see them awarded separately with acting categories, even those awarded with fewer nominees and even on the Creative Arts telecast, because I consider it different to compare episodic television from stand-alone movies.

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