New Emmy categories & expansions: Forum posters react to latest changes

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Just as we put the Oscars behind us and embark on a new Emmy season, the TV academy has announced a number of changes to their category lineup, rules and procedures. First, writing and directing categories for comedies and dramas have been expanded from five nominees to six, an overdue change that comes years after the expansion of series and acting categories from five nominees. Last year, Best Comedy and Best Drama were increased to seven from six. 

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Also, once a show is categorized as a series, it will still be considered a series for shortened seasons of three to five episodes (one or two episodes would still be allowed to compete as longform programs). If applied in years past, this rule would have prevented miniseries candidacies for the final seasons of “The Big C” and “Treme.”

The procedure for voting has changed as well. In categories where winners were once decided by ranking the nominees in order of preference, voters will now submit a single vote for their top choice.

The other big changes come in the short-format field, where new categories have been created or renamed:

– Outstanding Short Form Series – Comedy or Drama (replaces the category known as Short Format Live Entertainment)
– Outstanding Short Form Series – Reality/Nonfiction (replaces the Short Format Nonfiction category)
– Outstanding Short Form Series – Variety (new category)
– Outstanding Actor in a Short Form Series – Comedy or Drama (new category)
– Outstanding Actress in a Short Form Series – Comedy or Drama (new category)

The new categories will be presented during the Creative Arts Emmys, which the academy already announced it would split into two events the weekend before the primetime telecast.

What do you think of these changes? Our forum posters are discussing these developments. Read some of their comments below, and click here to join the discussion in our message boards.

Rooney Moore: You know, I had a little heart attack when I read the part “New Categories & Expansions.” The last things Emmys ever need was more extra categories, but they expanded the categories that most (and only) needed to be expanded: Writing & Directing! YAYYYY! It was already ridiculous to have six for Mini/Movie but not for Drama/Comedy. I hope this leads to more inspiring choices for little-seen shows … not more repetitive things.

John Kubicek: Off the top of my head, webisode series like “Heroes: Dark Matters” (all about Phoebe’s backstory) and “Flight 462” from “Fear the Walking Dead” seem like the most notable Short-Form Comedy or Drama series I can name.

jjjmoss: Ugh, we need fewer [categories], not more.

jacob121: So happy about the expansion of the writing and directing categories. Now let’s hope that the extra slot isn’t just filled with an added “Game of Thrones” ep and the academy actually reaches a little deeper to make some unexpected choices. I am still sort of unsure about the short form categories. Maybe I am just not watching enough web series/don’t know of enough good ones, but if they are culling acting nominees from “Walking Dead” and “Heroes: Reborn” web spin-offs then yikes.

DamianWayne: What the hell took them so long to make writing and directing six nominees?

CanadianFan: The expansion of the writing and directing categories was incredibly overdue. I was scared they expanded all acting categories to seven. Phew.

bondzzz: Ranking system worked because [categories were decided by] panels which had probably less than 100 voters, so with a ranking system, it’s more of what people prefer the most instead of just a few passionate supporters. But I guess since they opened up [voting to all eligible voters last year], it makes sense to just choose one winner out of the nominees. I still like the panels, though, because we get more unexpected winners, as people really watch the eps.

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Photo: ATAS

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