Television Academy Unveils 2023 Emmy Rule Changes, Including New Alternatives To Various Debate And Drawing Categories

The Television Academy is taking it a step further to solve the mystery of the Emmys’ diverse talk and sketch category. The organization announced Tuesday that it will be eliminating those two controversial categories and will introduce two new ones: Outstanding Talk Series, which will focus on shows that focus on “unscripted interviews or panel discussions between the host/hosts and celebrities or guest characters”; and Premium Scripted Variety Series, which focuses on “programs that are primarily scripted or feature imprecise scripted improvement and consist of discrete scenes, musical numbers, monologues, comedic stand-ups, sketches, etc..”

In creating these two new categories, the Television Academy likely hopes to resolve two debates simultaneously: what to do with declining chart shows, which have shrunk to the point where they can no longer maintain a separate Emmy category; and how to separate topical, news-focused talk shows from the more diverse speakers.

It is unclear whether or not this will resolve this debate. Shows like “The Tonight Show Starring Jimmy Fallon” can fall into either category: they feature unscripted interviews, but they also include plenty of unscripted improvisation, musical numbers, monologues, stand-up comedy and sketches. But that likely means that “Last Week Tonight with John Oliver,” which has dominated the variety talk category since 2016, will transition to a scripted variety series, where it will now compete with the likes of “Saturday Night Live” rather than “Jimmy Kimmel Live” or “Jimmy Kimmel Live.” The Late Show with Stephen Colbert.” (“The Daily Show” also has a huge script segment in addition to its talking segment.)

According to the new description of the premium talk series, “a talk series can include written elements and other aspects of a variety series such as monologues, musical performances, etc., as long as the main goal of the program is interviews/discussions.” That seems to keep shows like “Tonight” and “The Late Show With James Corden” in the realm of conversation. But the new written variety category also notes that it “may occasionally contain elements that are not scripted, but the main intent of the series is serialized scripts or entertainment.” This is where shows that were previously in the sketch field, such as “Saturday Night Live,” will now reside. But could that also include “Tonight” and “The Late Late Show”? This could lead to an interesting discussion in the coming months.

The Television Academy has struggled to figure out what to do with the diverse talk and variety plots in recent years. In December 2020, the Foundation announced that it would once again merge the two into one category — and then, after uproar from variety bigwigs, reverted the track a few months later.

But change has been on the agenda for some time. In September, the Chairman/CEO of the Television Academy, Frank Scherma, said the foundation would “make some sort of decision” soon. “It’s definitely one of the things on the agenda for next year,” he said. “As television continues to change across the board, we have to try to change with it. And we have to look at these things. We’re talking to our network partners. We’re talking to broadcasters, we’re talking across the board.”

But, as Academy President/COO Maury McIntyre added, there was no easy solution – hence the delay in finding one. “If it had been an easy call,” he said, “we would have already made it.” “There is a lot of interest and we want to make sure we do it right. Obviously we made a decision two years ago [in announcing a talk/sketch category merge] People weren’t happy with it and we revisited it. It just shows that we are willing to listen to our partners with what they have to say. We’ll have to make a decision at some point.”

The series was awarded various dialogues and sketches in one category until it was split in 2015. This decision came as the number of sketch shows was growing, with series like “Inside Amy Schumer,” “Portlandia,” “Drunk History,” and “Key & Peele” as well. to “Saturday Night Live”.

But this trend did not last long. And the rules introduced in 2019 that limit the number of nominees in each category have had a negative impact on both the variety talk and the variety sketch fields: Under the setup, categories with between 20 and 80 participants compete with five candidates; For six people, there must be a minimum of 81 participants. If there are less than 20 participants, it will be a moving scale for fewer candidates.

In 2022, only eight shows were submitted in a variety sketch, resulting in only two being nominated for the second year in a row: “SNL” and “Black Lady Sketch Show.”

Meanwhile, Variety Talk is also seeing its numbers decline. Last year, only 19 shows were submitted in this category, but the Television Academy has rounded that number down to 20, in order to keep at least five nominees.

However, with shows like “Desus & Mero” and “Full Frontal with Samantha Bee” ending, and the fate of CBS’s 12:37 AM still up in the air after James Corden’s departure from “The Late Late Show” this spring, it will likely continue. The talk rate is declining. And it doesn’t help that some shows that might have entered this category, like “My Next Guest Needs No Introduction With David Letterman” and “The Trouble With Jon Stewart,” have chosen to enter the hosted nonfiction series or special field instead. These offers will probably now go into the thread category under the new setting.

The Television Academy has also had to contend with rumblings from within the talk-variety ranks about the huge difference in tone and structure of the shows: Theme-based shows like “Last Week Tonight With John Oliver” compete against programs focused on diversity (“The Late Late Show”). with James Corden, “The Tonight Show Starring Jimmy Fallon”), talk shows with a heavy dose of politics (“The Late Show With Stephen Colbert”, “The Daily Show With Trevor Noah” and “Late Night With Seth Meyers”) and shows with A little bit of everything (“Jimmy Kimmel Live!”).

The Television Academy board of directors met last week to discuss the rule changes. “The Television Academy Awards Committee and Board of Directors carefully reviews the Emmy rules annually and adjusts and refines competition requirements, often with input from television leaders, to reflect and support the current industry environment,” said Frank Schirma, Chairman and CEO of the Television Academy.

Here are other changes to the rules:

The voting ceiling for the nomination round: “The number of choices each voting member is allowed to make for each category in the first round of voting will now be determined by the number of nominations selected for that category. Members will no longer be allowed to vote for an unlimited number of choices in any category.” This should make voting on the nomination more specialized and remove the temptation to vote for everyone (or, more worryingly, everyone on the employer’s agenda).

Changes to Tracked Categories: Until now, there was always a guarantee that the multi-camera series would at least continue to receive nominations in categories devoted exclusively to it such as Multi-Camera Photo Editing for a Comedy Series. But that is changing now. “The Single Camera and Multi-camera Image Editing for a Comedy Series categories have been merged into the Trailer Photo Editing for a Comedy Series category. The Single Camera Series (Half Hour) Cinematography and Multi Camera Series categories have been merged into the Trailing Cinematography for a Series (Half Hour) category.”

But also, “a trigger has been added to all tracked categories such that during any year in which the number of submissions per track is 20 or more, the category will automatically be divided into separate categories for that year. In 2023, there will be 16 categories with tracks, which can Probably divided.

These categories are Animation Program, Cinematography for a Series (half an hour), Contemporary Costumes, Fantasy/Sci-Fi Costumes, Period Costumes, Directing for a Comedy Series, Directing for a Variety Series, Hairstyling for a Period/Character, Period/Character Makeup, Photo Editing for a Comedy Series , Image Editing for Variety Programming, Production Design for a Narrative Program (Half Hour), Sound Mixing for Comedy or Drama Series (Half Hour), Sound Mixing for Variety or Special Series, Nonfiction/Reality Audio Mixing, Technical Direction and Camera Work for Series.

Finally, the minimum number of submissions required to include a nomination track in a tracked category has been changed to 5% of the total number of submissions but a minimum of three submissions.

Line producers to receive eligible credit for various categories: The line’s producers are now eligible for Emmys in the categories of Outstanding Talk Series, Outstanding Variety Series, Outstanding Variety (live) and Outstanding Variety (pre-recorded).

Previously Announced – Game Shows Coming Primetime: As revealed in August, the Academy of Television (the West Coast institution formerly known as the Academy of Television Arts & Sciences) and the New York-based National Academy of Television Arts & Sciences agreed to carry over the game show categories from the Daytime Emmys to the Primetime Emmys starting next year. Moving forward, the new Primetime Emmy category for Outstanding Game Show will be awarded “to programs with game elements that take place primarily in the studio and include mental challenges.” As part of the move, the Primetime Emmys will also add a category for Outstanding Game Show Host, “awarded to ‘Chairman of the Ceremony’ hosts for continued performance on a game show.”

previously announcedRuling on the end of hanging: As announced in June, “The episode on hold rule has been rescinded; episodes premiering on a national audience-accessible platform by May 31 will be eligible for an Emmy.” A required number of series episodes must premiere nationally by May 31 to be eligible for the current Emmy competition: six episodes required for series in the animation, comedy, drama, variety, short form, and reality categories; Three episodes required for hosted documentaries and reality series; All episodes are essential for limited series and anthology series.

Among other rule changes:

• The time limit for commercials has changed from 30-120 seconds to 30-180 seconds.

• The Fashion Consultant position is not generally an Emmy eligible credit but may be reviewed on a case-by-case basis.

In documentary programming, “recreations, including the use of performers or animators, if such recreations are fact-based and used for illustrative purposes, are limited to a percentage not exceeding
50% of the documentary special or series, with the remaining content being primary source documentary elements.

• Performers: “If the narration is performed as a character rather than as a narrator, even if he is recorded as
Narrator, the performer must submit in the Character Voice-over category.” Also in the Character Voice-over, any performance in which the performer’s voice is manipulated using AI requires a submission to be checked for eligibility. And “An artist playing the same character in more than one program may enter in only one performer category in the current year of eligibility.”


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