As expected, the Television Academy’s Board of Governors voted tonight to split the merged best TV movie and miniseries category into two, reverting to the long tradition of separate top longform Primetime Emmy categories, which was ended by the TV Academy vote in 2011 to merge the two fields because of the dwindling number of miniseries entries. Ironically, as the decision was made, miniseries already had started their resurgence, which was cemented by the blockbuster success of the 2012 History mini Hatfields & McCoys. Several months ago, a movement started within the TV Academy in support of splitting the top longform categories again. It gained momentum, leading to a recommendation that passed through the February 4 Awards Committee meeting and was sent to the board, which approved the move tonight. Also recognizing the proliferation of longform programming, the combined miniseries/TV movie categories for writing, directing and performing categories will all be expanded from five to six nominees, with the final voting switched from a preferential vote to a ratings-score vote.
The TV Academy also voted to split the Outstanding Reality Program Category into Outstanding Structured Reality Program (i.e. Antiques Roadshow, MythBusters, etc.) and Outstanding Unstructured Reality Program (i.e. Pawn Stars, Duck Dynasty, etc.) because of “a general industry uptrend in two different types of narrative reality programming.” They will join the Reality Competition Program category.
And in yet another split, the Outstanding Voice-Over Category will be separated into Outstanding Narrator and Outstanding Character Voice-Over Performance.
Additionally, the TV Academy is creating a template for having seven best comedy and drama series nominees as it is evoking the 2% rule for the two fields, meaning that if a show’s first round of voting tally is within 2% of the sixth-most-nominated best series, it too would land a nom. Here is a full list of all Emmy changes voted tonight with details:
Separation of Outstanding Miniseries and Movie Program Category –
Outstanding Miniseries or Movie will now be split into two separate program categories. The new categories will be Outstanding Miniseries and Outstanding Television Movie. This separation is only for the program category with all other awards in the category remaining combined between the two formats. Movies and Miniseries were consolidated into a single program category in 2011 due to a general industry downtrend of the genre. The Television Academy acknowledges the increased programming of both movie and miniseries over the past three years and returned them to their pre-2011 status as separate program categories.
Split of Outstanding Reality Program Category –
Outstanding Reality Program will now be separated into two categories – Outstanding Structured Reality Program (i.e. “Antiques Roadshow,” “MythBusters,” etc.) and Outstanding Unstructured Reality Program (i.e. “Pawn Stars,” “Duck Dynasty,” etc.). As with miniseries and movies, there is a general industry uptrend in two different types of narrative reality programming and the split accommodates that trend.
Split of Outstanding Voice-Over Category –
Outstanding Voice-Over Performance will now be separated into two categories – Outstanding Narrator and Outstanding Character Voice-Over Performance. As with longform and reality, this split acknowledges and accommodates a general industry uptrend in the distinctly different achievements that are VO narration and VO character performance.
Increase in Number of Nominees for Directors, Writers and Performers in the Miniseries/Movie Category -
The number of longform nominees in writing, directing and performing has been increased from five to six nominees. Additionally the final voting procedure has been changed from a preferential vote in which nominations are ranked one against the other in a head-to-head competition to a ratings-score vote, in which each nomination is considered on its own terms and given its own score (with the top scorer emerging as the award recipient).
Implementation of the 2% Rule for Outstanding Comedy and Drama Series Categories
The 2% rule will now be applied to the comedy and drama series program categories. Under this change, a comedy or drama series whose total first-round votes are within 2% of the sixth place series would also receive a nomination, creating the possibility of seven nominees in each category. Previously the 2% rule had only applied to categories with five nominees.
Outstanding Technical Direction/Camerawork/Video for a Series -
This award will now be classified as an area award with the possibility of one or more than one award. The nominations would continue to be proportioned according to the entries. Additionally, the number of nominations will be increased from five to six