Just over a month ago, the Television Academy released a new set of rules meant to draw a firm line between what shows would be eligible as comedies, dramas, series and miniseries at their 2015 Primetime Emmy Awards. Today, the appeal process has already unearthed three exceptions to those rules.
“Shameless,” “Jane the Virgin” and “Glee” will all be eligible to compete as comedies in 2015 despite their episodes clocking in at 45-60 minutes. Though the rules clearly stated all half-hour series would be considered “comedies” and all shows over 30 minutes would be seen as dramas, the petitioning process seems to have worked for these three series, resulting in their inclusion as comedies in 2015.
This comes as not only good news for “Shameless” – which had just switched to the comedy side a year ago — but also potentially great news for “Orange is the New Black.” After all, if a Showtime series that was once considered a drama can continue to be eligible as a comedy, how could the nine-person committee turn away a series that’s always successfully competed as a comedy? A decision on the Netflix series is expected in the next few weeks, according to a report from THR.
Though the Emmy nominations won’t be announced until July 16, networks need to know now how to market their shows within the industry — and not just whether to label one show a comedy and another a drama. For instance, if “Orange is the New Black” is deemed a drama, Netflix will have to choose how to allocate its marketing strategy with two high profile dramas (three if you count “Bloodline”). That decision could benefit “Unbreakable Kimmy Schimdt,” however, if Netflix has only it to turn to for comedy nominations. If Jenji Kohan’s series is labeled a comedy, then strategies — and budgets — will have to shift accordingly.
The 67th Annual Primetime Emmys will announce the winners September 20 live from the Nokia LA Live theater on Fox.