More changes are coming to the Emmys ceremonies. After last month’s decision by the TV Academy and The National Academy of Television Arts & Sciences’ to separate children’s and family programming into a ceremony of its own, the two bodies are now changing decades-old rules concerning the alignment of the competitions.
In ceremonies past, the television competitions were divided up by series’ airtime—hence the emphasis on “Primetime” versus “Daytime.” However, starting in the new year, the competitions will be organized by genre. This change means digital daytime dramas as well as other daytime programs, including some talk shows and game shows, could potentially move over to the Primetime Emmy Awards.
“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,” says Maury McIntyre, President and COO, Television Academy.
For most shows, these changes will apply to the forthcoming Call For Entries and will be reflected in 2022's ceremonies. Meanwhile, Game Show and Instructional & DIY programming categories will remain divided by airtime for the 2022 competitions as the two groups look to a genre-based alignment for the 2023 competition year.
The change comes as a response to the drastic shift in viewing habits of consumers as streaming continues to prevail over cable and live broadcast viewing. In the press release, NATAS and ATAS recognize having two award competitions based on when shows air as opposed to the content “does not make sense.”
“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,” says Adam Sharp, President and CEO, NATAS. “These changes will allow each Academy to honor an undivided scope of achievement in our respective fields of television excellence.”
To break this down further, all scripted dramas and comedies will enter the Television Academy-administered national competition, irrespective of airtime, with two exceptions: Programming intended for ages 15 and under will be represented in the Children’s & Family competition, and the Daytime Drama categories will remain in the Daytime competition and be redefined to include “any multi-camera, weekday daily serial, spin-off or reboot.”
Limited drama series that were previously considered Daytime will now transition to the Primetime competition. Additionally, talk shows will now be awarded in each competition, separated by format and style characteristics based on current programming in the daytime or late night spaces.
Finally, The Morning Show and Spanish-Language Morning Show categories will be permanently removed from the Daytime competition, and will now instead be eligible in the NATAS-administered News & Documentary Emmys or the Daytime competition’s Talk Show categories.