Tired of throwing a big party for themselves only to have cable interlopers crash it and make off with all the awards, broadcast networks have approached the Academy of Television Arts and Sciences about splitting the Emmys into two shows starting next year, one to be aired on the networks that would focus on the series categories, and another to be shown on cable that would focus on long-form programming, like miniseries and made-for-TV movies.
It all stems from a complaint by the networks that the Emmys has become “mostly a huge promotional postcard for HBO and cable,” considering that the latter category is always dominated by films like Temple Grandin and You Don’t Know Jack, as opposed to… well, whatever the networks made last year. (Probably something with Jane Seymour.) Banishing those categories to the cable channels that will surely win them would seemingly free up the show to bring back stuff that’s gotten lost in the streamlining, such as those always-fun “guest star” categories, and supposedly give the networks a fighting chance at reasserting their dominance.
Of course, this conveniently ignores the fact that cable dominates every category nowadays, not just the TV movies, and so this could be seen as a slippery slope toward drawing a more permanent line there, and downgrading the Emmys routinely handed out to shows like Mad Men and Breaking Bad to something more akin to a CableACE Award, which would just be petty. But that scenario seems fairly doubtful, if only because it would make the Emmys even more meaningless than they already are. However, if this plan comes to fruition, there will be one side effect: All those fancy, big-time movie stars working on their EGOTs won’t show up to the big party, and that could end up backfiring for the Academy, ratings-wise.