2020 Emmys expand: More nominees for Best Drama, Best Comedy and other categories as number of submissions goes way up

The coronavirus pandemic has affected a lot of entertainment media and their corresponding awards, but on June 17 the Primetime Emmys announced changes prompted by a drastic increase in the amount of media eligible for consideration. Even with COVID-19 shuttering productions across the industry this spring, Emmy submissions went up 15% from 2019 to 2020. Since there are more shows vying for awards, there will be more nomination slots to accommodate them.

Best Comedy Series and Best Drama Series will expand from seven nomination slots to a guaranteed eight (you can now update your predictions accordingly here in our predictions center). And the number of nominations in other categories will scale up or down depending on the number of submissions. That scale is as follows:

— 1-19 submissions: A sliding scale between zero to 4 nominations

— 20-80 submissions: 5 nominations

— 81-160 submissions: 6 nominations

— 161-240 submissions: 7 nominations

— More than 240 submissions: 8 nominations

So how will that affect each category? If this sliding scale had been in place last year, for instance, the drama supporting categories would both have had eight nominees, while comedy supporting races would both have had seven. Movie/limited series lead acting races would have had only five nominees each. We counted last year’s exact ballot totals here, but of course we can now expect 15% more submissions across categories.

This change also means the television academy is abandoning its two-percent rule for nominations voting. Under that rule, if a category were limited to, say, five nominees, a sixth would be added if they received within two-percent of the fifth place nominee’s vote total. Now the number of nominees is set strictly based on the number of submissions — barring, presumably, an exact numerical tie in nominations voting.

Television academy chairman and CEO Frank Scherma said in a statement, “The increase in submissions is a reflection of the number of new voices, new television platforms and a tremendous growth in content from existing platforms across our industry. Despite production suspension resulting from COVID-19, there is a wealth of excellent work submitted for this year’s competition.”

What do you think of this change, and which shows and performers are most helped by it? Comment below, and join the discussion here with your fellow TV fans.

Be sure to make your Emmy predictions today so that Hollywood insiders can see how their TV shows and performers are faring in our odds. You can keep changing your predictions as often as you like until just before the nominees are announced on July 28. And join in the fun debate over the 2020 Emmys taking place right now with Hollywood insiders in our television forums. Read more Gold Derby entertainment news.

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