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Emmy Rule Changes: Dramas and Comedies No Longer Determined By Length

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The Television Academy today announced rules changes for the 74th Emmy Awards competition, including eliminating the program time length for comedy and drama series.

The rule change: Categorization based on program length for a comedy or drama series has been eliminated. Episode length will no longer dictate submission categories. Instead, producers will now determine category submission with the stipulation that the Television Academy’s Industry Panel reserves the right to review the producer’s preference. Comedy and drama series are defined as programs with multiple episodes (minimum of six) in which the content is primarily comedic for comedy series entries or primarily dramatic for dramatic series entries. In addition, the ongoing theme, storyline and main characters are presented under the same title and have continuity of production supervision. The exception is programming under 20 minutes, which must be submitted in short-form categories.

“This year our Awards Committee has worked with industry colleagues to further define program eligibility for the Emmy competition,” said Frank Scherma, Chairman and CEO for the Television Academy. “We’ve made great strides in differentiating what is eligible for our respective competitions, in concert with ongoing changes in content development and distribution.”

Meanwhile, as previously announced, the Academy has redefined the definition of theatrical motion pictures, ruling that any film placed on the viewing platform for the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences will be deemed a theatrical motion picture and thus ineligible for the Emmy competition.

The Academy also announced changes in the stunts and voice-over categories and expanded entry eligibility for various professionals working on reality programming, animation and special visual effects.

A list of awards changes for the 74th Emmy Awards can be found at Emmys.com/rules/changes.

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