Television Academy Expands Short-Form Emmys Categories

The Television Academy has expanded its short-form categories for the 2016 Primetime Emmy Awards competition, acknowledging what it calls the “dramatic growth” in series whose episodes average 15 minutes or less. Three categories have been added: Outstanding Short Form Series - Comedy or Drama (replaces Short Format Live Entertainment); new category Outstanding Short Form Series - Variety; and Outstanding Short Form Series - Reality/Nonfiction (replaces Short Format Nonfiction).

Two categories for short-form performers have been added: Outstanding Actor, and Outstanding Actress, in a Short Form Series - Comedy or Drama.

"Our industry is aggressively, quickly and creatively evolving the various ways episodic stories are told,” said Bruce Rosenblum, Television Academy chairman and CEO. “Our Board of Governors felt that this expansion of short-form categories begins the process of ensuring that Emmy-worthy creativity will be rewarded, irrespective of format or platform. These category changes reflect the broader opportunities that emerging networks and distribution platforms, such as Maker Studios, Fullscreen, AwesomenessTV, YouTube Red, Adult Swim and others, are seizing in choosing innovative formats that enable our television community to share stories in novel and entertaining ways."

The Academy announced last month that it will hold its Creative Arts Emmy Awards ceremony over two consecutive nights the weekend prior to the Emmy Awards telecast. The expanded short form categories will be presented as part of the Creative Arts Emmy Awards ceremonies.

The Board of Governors has approved several other Primetime Emmy changes for 2016, including an increase in the number of nominations (from five to six) for directing and writing in both comedy and drama series.

Michael Malone

Michael Malone, senior content producer at B+C/Multichannel News, covers network programming, including entertainment, news and sports on broadcast, cable and streaming; and local broadcast television. He hosts the podcasts Busted Pilot, about what’s new in television, and Series Business, a chat with the creator of a new program, and writes the column “The Watchman.” He joined B+C in 2005. His journalism has also appeared in The New York Times, The Philadelphia Inquirer, Playboy and New York magazine.