After a couple of years of tweaks to how the children’s Emmy categories were presented, the National Academy of Television Arts and Sciences said Wednesday that it will debut a new, stand-alone awards competition and ceremony, the Children’s & Family Emmy Awards, beginning in 2022.
The move, which will mark the first expansion of the list of Emmy award shows since the Sports and News & Documentary Emmys were launched in 1979, comes as NATAS has seen a surge in submissions in the children’s genre. Notably, there were more than 300 submissions alone for last year’s Individual Achievement in Animation category — more than for any other Emmy category. It was won by six projects.
A total of 27 categories currently fall under the children and family genre after they became part of the Daytime Emmy Awards this past year. That move came as the NATAS-run Daytime Emmys struck a rare deal with Primetime Emmy organizer the Television Academy to consolidate and migrate all children and family categories to the Daytime show beginning in 2021. Because of the pandemic, the Children’s and Animation awards were handed together in one of three separate virtual Daytime ceremonies in July.
NATAS said a 23% increase in children’s and family programming over the past two years spurred the move to giving it a fully stand-alone race. As part of today’s announcement, the New York-based group said it has added seven new categories to accommodate growth in the preschool genre, with those now set to be a part of the Children’s & Family Emmys going forward.
“NATAS has always been a leader in recognizing and celebrating excellence in our industry, and nothing is excelling and expanding more dramatically than the children’s and family community,” NATAS president and CEO Adam Sharp said. “Recent years have seen explosive growth in the quantity and quality of children’s and family programming,
and now is the perfect time to acknowledge and honor this impactful content with a dedicated competition and celebration.”
The complete list of categories, eligibility rules and call for entries will be announced sometime next year, giving organizers time to add categories or make additional tweaks to existing ones.
It’s unclear for now where in the TV awards calendar the stand-alone show would go. In addition to the TV Academy-run Primetime Emmys (which includes the Creative Arts Emmys, where many children’s and family categories used to live), NATAS runs the Daytime, News & Documentary, Sports, and Technology & Engineering stand-alone Emmys.