The Television Academy announced some major changes to its voting rules on Friday, further defining the differences between comedy and drama series. As per the Academy's new rules, series with episodes of 30 minutes or less will now be defined as a Comedy and series with episodes of more than 30 minutes are considered Drama.
Most notably, this means that "Orange Is The New Black, which was nominated in the Comedy category, will now be considered as a drama. The Academy's statement noted that "producers may formally petition a new Academy industry panel to consider their series' eligibility in the alternative category."
"Our over 17,000 voting members represent a dramatically changing television industry and we need to continue to make sure we honor their creativity in the most relevant and fair ways possible, Bruce Rosenblum, Television Academy Chairman said in a statement. "As our growing membership creates and produces more content for ever-changing platforms, today's changes in the rules and procedures are vital. We're sure that in coming years we will continue to evolve our rules as our dynamic industry grows."
Other changes include the following:
- The Emmys expanded the number of nominees in the Comedy and Drama series categories and will now honor seven shows instead of six.
- "Mini-Series" will be changed to "Limited Series" and will be defined as programs with two or more episodes, "with a total running time of at least 150 program minutes that tell a complete, non-recurring story, and do not have an ongoing storyline and/or main characters in subsequent seasons."
- Actors who appear in less than 50 percent of the show can be considered for the "Guest Actor" category.
- "Variety Series" category has been split into two categories: "Outstanding Variety Talk," to be awarded during the Primetime Emmy Broadcast, and "Outstanding Variety Sketch," to be awarded at the Creative Arts Emmys.