Why was Downton Abbey considered as a Miniseries in its first season?

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  • Deniz Sisman
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    #356853

    I’ve been wondering this for a while.
    Clearly it wasn’t meant to be a Miniseries or 1-season-only thing in the first place, in fact, when PBS submitted first season as a Miniseries for the Emmys they had already done shooting of Season 2.
    And unlike Sherlock and Luther or any other British series who produces less than 6 episodes and therefore aren’t eligible for Drama category, at least 8 episodes of Downton has been aired ever year until now.
    And Emmys are not the only award show that considers it to be Long-form while it’s not. Nearly all critics and guilds have also treated as such. Also Golden Globes awarded it as a Miniseries in 2012 even after the airing of shows 2nd season.

    So does that mean every show can enter into Best Miniseries category for their first season? Or just all British shows have privilige to enter into that category even if they produce more episodes in one season then Breaking Bad, The Newsroom or Mad Men?

     

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    Anonymous
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    #356855

    I think it was because PBS aired the first season as a 3(4?) episode mini series, I don’t know the reason why they did it (maybe time schedules or something) but I’m pretty sure I read something like this 

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    TomHardys
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    #356856

    Wasn’t it because each episode was two hours long or something? I remember reading that episode 1 in the US corresponded to the first two episodes in the UK or something like that.

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    AMG
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    #356857

    Yeah I assumed it was because of the number of episodes. Didn’t the US air all 7 episodes in four extended episodes as part of a special season of programming?

    I’m also assuming that from Season 2 onwards it aired as normal in order for it to move to Drama Series.  

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    Gone_Guy
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    #356858

    And it was truly at the expense of Mildred Pierce, a legit miniseries. At least Winslet and Pearce won (along with three technical wins, I believe). It just stinks that Todd Haynes couldn’t be tossed a single bone in Miniseries, Writing, or Directing.

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    forwardswill
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    #356859

    I am fairly sure that, like others have mentioned above, it was because it aired across 3 or 4 two hour long episodes and so was structured much more like a miniseries than a Drama one thus causing it to be submitted and nominated as such.

    FYC: The Crown, Fleabag and AHS: Roanoke for Gold Derby TV Awards

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    Riley
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    #356860

    Yep, the Emmys just considered it to have four really long episodes and you need six episodes of any length to be a series.  The other award shows are just sheep.  The Hour has no excuse though.

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    ETPhoneHome
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    #356861

    The miniseries rules make no sense to me at all. American Horror Story can be there four consecutive years? Come on. I wonder if shows in their pilot seasons that get almost instantly cancelled can qualify. I mean chances are, they wouldn’t win, but if they know it won’t continue, couldn’t it qualify?

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    Zayner
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    #356862

    The fact that Evan Rachel Wood (Mildred Pierce) lost Maggie Smith is so annoying since Downton should have been in the Drama series categories. Wood should have won the easily based on performance alone. smh 

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    Rooney Moore
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    #356863

    So does that mean, if PBS decides to air the final season as 4 extended episodes in 2016 again, will it have to compete in the Miniseries category again?
    What an idiotic, unthought, silly rule. 

    See? This is why I hate Miniseries category. It really is an embarassment for Emmys and other award shows. Every network uses that to cheat the system.(How could one show’s final episode be considered as a TV Movie?) Without HBO no one really produces Miniseries and TV Movies anymore. Oh, right, we also have that anthology craziness now. Is it really so necessary to have a genre for just 10 shows per year?
    Isn’t it so obvious that AHS would dominate the nominations every year, whether the season were cringeworthy or not? Or is it possible that any HBO Miniseries would be ignored?

    At least they could have limitted the categories but nooo, just the opposite, while Drama-Comedy Writing/Directing categories have 5 slots, somehow Mini Writing/Directing have even one more, 6 open slots. As if there were any competition. It really is nonsense.

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    BenitoDelicias
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    #356864

    Real question:

    Did people even know it would keep going on back then? When it aired or when it was submitted? I mean besides the fact that it aired like it did (which is enough of a logical reason to be considered a Mini), was it of general knowledge that this would eventually become a series? Even if it aired as it did in the UK on PBS, would it still be forced or considered to compete as a drama series if there was no initial plan to continue the show? I don’t remember…

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    Bradley Weir
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    #356865

    There were less episodes in the first season (7, compared to 9 now) and I think they moved because they realised this was a show that could keep going.

    Would have been interesting to see its first season compete in the drama series category. I would probably rate its first season ahead of Thrones’ 1st, but I’m not sure it would have beaten Mad Men’s 4th. I don’t think Maggie Smith would have beaten Margo Martindale. McGovern would have defintely been nominated for lead drama actress.

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    KyleBailey
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    #356866

    Yeah I’m pretty sure it was intended to be a mini series but it became such a phenomenon that they couldn’t resist 

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    TVFan365
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    #356867

    That last episode sure didn’t look like a traditional ending for an “intended” miniseries.

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    GoMe91
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    #356868

    Yeah, the “miniseries” ended with a cliffhanger. I will never believe that DA was intended to be a miniseries. 

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