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Emmys Orgs Shifting Competitions to Focus on Genre Instead of Daypart

Emmy-winning 'Succession' stars Brian Cox as media magnate Logan Roy.
Emmy-winning 'Succession' stars Brian Cox as media magnate Logan Roy. (Image credit: HBO/Graeme Hunter)

Emmy awards are moving closer to reflecting the reality of the rapidly changing TV industry, with the New York-based National Academy of Television Arts & Sciences (NATAS) and Los Angeles-based Television Academy realigning the Daytime and Primetime Emmy Awards. Going forward, both competitions will be organized by genre as opposed to daypart. In a television-viewing environment in which viewers watch programs largely on demand and on their own schedules, awarding shows by daypart no longer makes sense. 

According to both organizations, the realignment “represents a transition that allows the competitions to reflect consumers’ evolving viewing habits, reduce category overlap and provide clarity on eligibility requirements.”

The Daytime Emmys are the first competition that will receive nominations under the new guidelines. Changes to the Daytime Emmy Awards competition include moving all programs targeting kids 15 and under to NATAS’s recently restructured Children’s & Family competition

All scripted programming will compete in the Primetime Emmys, with the exception of daytime dramas, also known as soap operas, which will remain in the Daytime Emmy competition. Those are being redefined to include “any multi-camera, weekday daily serial, spinoff or reboot.” Programming previously awarded in the limited-drama categories of the Daytime competition are being moved to the Primetime Emmys.

Talk shows will remain in both competitions, largely as they are now, with talkers intended for daytime, such as Disney's Live with Kelly and Ryan, competing in the Daytime Emmys and late-night talkers, such as HBO's Last Week Tonight with John Oliver, competing in Primetime. 

Some English- and Spanish-language morning shows, however, will move out of the Daytime competition and into NATAS’ News & Documentary Emmys depending on their format. More talk-oriented morning shows will remain in the Daytime Emmys’ talk categories. 

The academies are still considering where to place game shows and instructional and do-it-yourself programming categories and these types of shows are being considered for realignment for next year. All other categories will be clarified such that content creators will submit to a single competition on the basis of submission genre, irrespective of airtime. 

The academies are committing to spreading out the judging periods for the Daytime, Primetime and Children’s & Family competitions to non-conflicting timelines to allow adequate time for submissions and judging. 

In addition, the Television Academy and NATAS are forming a joint panel that will be charged with making eligibility determinations between competitions and categories. Show producers who are unsure of the competition for which they are eligible or who are petitioning to switch contests will be encouraged to submit to the eligibility review panel prior to submission.

“NATAS and the Television Academy each pride ourselves on celebrating and honoring the best television has to offer, and with the evolution of our industry, it was critical to update our competitions to meet current trends in both content and viewing habits,” said Adam Sharp, president and CEO, NATAS, in a statement. “These changes will allow each Academy to honor an undivided scope of achievement in our respective fields of television excellence.”

“The realignment of these Emmy competitions represents the most significant collaboration between the Television Academy and NATAS since the two became separate entities in 1977,” said Maury McIntyre, president and COO, Television Academy, also in a statement. “We’re proud to be responsive to the needs of the creative community and the evolution of our industry, ensuring the Emmy Award remains the preeminent mark of excellence across all genres of television.” 

The Daytime Emmys will release its call for submissions in January. ■

Contributing editor Paige Albiniak has been covering the business of television for nearly 25 years. She is a longtime contributor to Next TV, Broadcasting + Cable and Multichannel News. She concurrently serves as editorial director for entertainment marketing association Promax. She has written for such publications as TVNewsCheck, The New York Post, Variety, CBS Watch and more. Albiniak was B+C’s Los Angeles bureau chief from September 2002 to 2004, and an associate editor covering Congress and lobbying for the magazine in Washington, D.C., from January 1997-September 2002.