Daytime Emmys combine Best Younger Actor and Best Younger Actress, and other new gender guidelines

The Daytime Emmys recently floated the idea of combining Best Younger Actor in a Drama Series and Best Younger Actress in a Drama Series, and an announcement by the television academy on October 31 confirms that change. But those aren’t the only new gender category guidelines that have been announced.

The younger acting awards were established in 1985 for performers aged 25 and under. Over the years the categories have awarded future primetime TV and film stars like Julianne Moore (“As the World Turns”), Anne Heche (“Another World”) and Sarah Michelle Gellar (“All My Children”), along with other noteworthy nominees like Melissa Leo (“AMC”), Jane Krakowski (“Search for Tomorrow”), Robin Wright (“Santa Barbara”), Nathan Fillion (“One Life to Live”) and Shemar Moore (“The Young and the Restless”).

However, as more and more soaps have gone off the air, there are fewer and fewer younger actors to fill the slots. In 2019, for instance, only eight candidates were submitted for Best Younger Actor, and only three of them weren’t nominated after the pre-nominees were screened by blue ribbon panels. Consolidating the categories might make the prizes more competitive. But when we previously asked our readers to weigh in on the idea, most of them opposed it.

The Daytime Emmys are also following the lead of the Primetime Emmys by respecting the gender identities of prospective contenders. “Billions” co-star Asia Kate Dillon, for instance, is non-binary and elects to compete in the Best Drama Supporting Actor category.

“The Bold and the Beautiful” actor Scott Turner Schofield, the first openly transgender actor on a daytime drama, said in a statement, “Transgender, non-binary, and gender non-conforming people consistently find ourselves on the outside in Hollywood, in a variety of ways. This thoughtful inclusion shows NATAS paying attention, listening, and doing the work of increasing inclusion — which will increase acceptance in Hollywood and beyond. I know I am not the only one who feels more proud than ever to be a member of the daytime community because of this positive change.”

Now that it’s official, what are your thoughts about the younger-acting consolidation? Vote in our poll below, and discuss this and more with your fellow daytime TV fans here in our forums.

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