Good news, ‘Arrested Development’ and ‘Kimmy Schmidt’: Emmys love split seasons, just ask ‘Breaking Bad’ and ‘The Sopranos’

Netflix comedies “Arrested Development” and “Unbreakable Kimmy Schmidt” have both decided to split their upcoming seasons into two parts, with the first half of “Arrested” Season 5 streaming May 29 and the first part of “Kimmy” Season 4 debuting May 30. While fan reaction to this strategy is understandably mixed, one thing is clear: the Emmy Awards love split seasons.

SEE ‘Arrested Development’ season 5 will stream on Netflix just in time for 2018 Emmys consideration [WATCH]

In recent years HBO’s “The Sopranos” and AMC’s “Breaking Bad” split up their final seasons to great success at the Emmys. The last chapter of “The Sopranos” won Best Drama Series in 2007 and both parts of “Breaking Bad” ran off with the top prize in 2013 and 2014. Another big-name drama, “Mad Men,” divided its final season and wound up winning Best Drama Actor for Jon Hamm in 2015 for the second batch of episodes.

You may be asking, why do networks decide to separate TV seasons into two parts? The answer, almost always, is for awards. Essentially, this strategy gives a series two bites at the same apple, so they get to appear at two consecutive Emmy cycles instead of just one. Thus, while a show like “Breaking Bad” only produced five seasons, it was allowed to compete at six Emmy ceremonies.

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Because of Tina Fey‘s work on the Broadway musical “Mean Girls,” production on “Unbreakable Kimmy Schmidt” Season 4 was delayed, so not all of the episodes were ready to air before the Emmys’ May 31 eligibility cutoff. Instead of waiting to stream the entire season at once, Netflix made the savvy decision to debut the first group of episodes on May 30 so that the show didn’t have to sit out the 2018 Emmys. At this time it’s unclear why “Arrested Development” Season 5 was split into two separate halves.

The first three seasons of “Unbreakable Kimmy Schmidt” were nominated for 16 Emmy Awards, including Best Comedy Series, Best Actress for Ellie Kemper, Best Comedy Supporting Actor for Tituss Burgess and Best Comedy Supporting Actress for Jane Krakowski. “Arrested Development” won six Emmys back when it aired on Fox: Best Comedy Series, Best Comedy Directing, Best Comedy Casting, Best Comedy Editing and Best Comedy Writing twice.

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