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March 02, 2016

Television Academy Expands Short Form Categories and Increases Directing and Writing Nominees

Television Academy expands Primetime Emmy Awards Short Form Categories reflecting dramatic growth in Storytelling across Expanding television landscape. Outstanding directing and writing for comedy and drama series increased to six nominees in each category.

 

  • The Board of Governors oversees many aspects of the Television Academy, including the Emmy Awards.

Embracing the proliferation of quality storytelling across both digital and traditional networks and platforms, the Television Academy has expanded its short form categories for this year’s Primetime Emmy® Awards competition. 

In expanding these categories, the Academy further acknowledges the dramatic growth of the work of Television Academy members and others in the production and distribution of short form programs (defined as program episodes averaging 15 minutes or less).

Bruce Rosenblum, Television Academy Chairman and CEO said, “Our industry is aggressively, quickly and creatively evolving the various ways episodic stories are told.  Our Board of Governors felt that this expansion of short form categories begins the process of ensuring that Emmy-worthy creativity will be rewarded, irrespective of format or platform. These category changes reflect the broader opportunities that emerging networks and distribution platforms, such as Maker Studios, Fullscreen, AwesomenessTV, YouTube Red, Adult Swim and others, are seizing in choosing innovative formats that enable our television community to share stories in novel and entertaining ways.”

The recognition of short form categories parallels the Television Academy’s inclusion of reality programming in Emmy competition in 2001. That year, the Academy reassessed its nonfiction categories when it recognized reality programs for the first time. From eight categories in 2001, recognition for reality and non-fiction programming has grown to 22 categories.

The changes in short form recognition include:

New and expanded categories for Short Form Series: three short form categories are added; potential entrants are defined as series with a minimum of six episodes running an average of 15 minutes or less per episode, exhibited over-the-air and/or via cable, satellite or internet.

•    Outstanding Short Form Series – Comedy or Drama (replaces Short Format Live Entertainment category)
•    Outstanding Short Form Series – Variety (new)
•    Outstanding Short Form Series – Reality/Nonfiction (replaces Short Format Nonfiction category)

New categories for Performers in Short Form Series:    
•    Outstanding Actor in a Short Form Series – Comedy or Drama (new)
•    Outstanding Actress in a Short Form Series – Comedy or Drama (new)

Continuing in the Short Form genre is Outstanding Short Form Animated Program.

The expansion in short form awards categories comes on the heels of the Academy's announcement last month that it will hold its Creative Arts Emmy Awards ceremony over two consecutive nights, both of which will take place the weekend prior to the Emmy Awards telecast.  The expanded short form categories will be presented as part of the Creative Arts Emmy Awards ceremonies.

In addition, the Television Academy’s Board of Governors has approved several other Primetime Emmy Awards rules and procedures changes for 2016. These changes include an increase in the number of nominations (from five to six) for directing and writing in both comedy and drama series to reflect the dramatic increase in series production.

Rosenblum added, “The Television Academy is committed to annually assessing the Emmy Award competition to ensure it reflects the dynamic and exciting growth happening within our industry. The changes we are making better align award categories with the various genres of outstanding programming today, recognize the substantial increase in eligible submissions, and streamline the online voting process for our 18,000+ voting members.”

See the addendum below for a list of Primetime Emmy Awards rules and procedures changes for 2016.

About the Television Academy

The Television Academy seeks to expand the horizons of television excellence. It strives to empower storytellers who shape the evolving television space through the programs, publications and events of the Academy and its Foundation. And it celebrates those who have led excellence by recording their stories and recognizing their achievements through accolades and awards, including television’s most coveted prize, the Primetime Emmy® Award. For more information, please visit TelevisionAcademy.com.

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The complete list of Rules and Procedures for the Primetime Emmy Awards will be available at TelevisionAcademy.com later this Spring.

Addendum

Changes to the 68th Primetime Emmy Awards Competition

New and expanded categories for Short Form Series: three short form categories are added; potential entrants are defined as series with a minimum of six episodes running an average of 15 minutes or less per episode, exhibited over-the-air and/or via cable, satellite or internet.

•    Outstanding Short Form Series – Comedy or Drama (replaces Short Format Live Entertainment category)
•    Outstanding Short Form Series – Variety (new)
•    Outstanding Short Form Series – Reality/Nonfiction (replaces Short Format Nonfiction category)

New categories for Performers in Short Form Series:    
•    Outstanding Actor in a Short Form Series – Comedy or Drama (new)
•    Outstanding Actress in a Short Form Series – Comedy or Drama (new)

Increased the number of nominations from Five to Six in the following categories:

•    Outstanding Directing for a Comedy Series
•    Outstanding Directing for a Drama Series
•    Outstanding Writing for a Comedy Series
•    Outstanding Writing for a Drama Series

Expanded the following award categories:

•    Outstanding Picture Editing for Reality Programming is now Outstanding Picture Editing for a Structured or Competition Reality Program and Outstanding Picture Editing for an Unstructured Reality Program.

•    Outstanding Production Design for a Variety, Nonfiction, Reality or Reality-Competition Programming is now Outstanding Production Design for a Variety, Nonfiction, Reality or Reality-Competition Series and Outstanding Production Design for a Variety, Nonfiction, Event or Award Special.

Eliminated Preferential/Ranked Voting in the Final Round: Categories in which voters were asked to rank nominees in order of preference will now require just a single vote for the top selection only. In the event of a tie, the nominee with the most votes in the previous nominating round will be selected as winner.  If these same nominees were tied in the nominating round, then the tie is accepted and multiple winners will be awarded.

Adopted a Two-Step Nominating Process for Special Visual Effects: Members of the SVE Peer Group Executive Committee will view and score all entries. A minimum of 15 top-scoring entries in both SVE categories will progress to the nominating ballot for voting by the entire peer group.

Nominees for Outstanding Directing for a Variety Series will now be drawn from two tracks: Variety Talk Series (e.g., The Colbert Report, Jimmy Kimmel Live, The Tonight Show Starring Jimmy Fallon) and Variety/Sketch Series (e.g., American Idol, Dancing With the Stars, Saturday Night Live). Nominees will be proportionate to the number of submissions in each track, with at least one nomination for each.

Changed Outstanding Costumes for Variety, Nonfiction or Reality Programming from a Juried Award (no nominations) to an Area Award (possible five nominations): This allows the entire peer group to vote in both the nominating and final phases of the competition.

Changed Categorization of Shortened Seasons for Regular Series: Once a show is established as a series, if additional shortened seasons are added (fewer than six episodes), it would still be considered a series, unless it was limited to one or two episodes (which would categorize it as a movie and a limited series respectively). 

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Contact:
Jim Yeager
breakwhitelight (for the Television Academy)
jim@breakwhitelight.com
Office: 1-424-644-0225
Cell:  1-818-264-6812


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