It’s not the end of the world, but it just may be the end of the limited series landscape as we know it.
The TV Academy announced April 9 that FX’s “American Horror Story: Apocalypse,” Netflix’s “American Vandal,” and USA’s “The Sinner” are no longer eligible to compete as limited series at the Emmy Awards, instead moving “Apocalypse” and “The Sinner” to the drama series categories and “American Vandal” to comedy series competition, according to Variety.
The official rules and procedures for the 71st Primetime Emmy Awards establish a limited series as “a program with two or more episodes with a total running time of at least 150 program minutes that tells a complete, non-recurring story, and does not have an on-going storyline and/or main characters in subsequent seasons.”
It’s the bit about on-going characters that serves as a stumbling block for the shows in question. “American Horror Story: Apocalypse” was a departure from the previous seven installments of the series, featuring the return of several previous personalities, including Jessica Lange’s “Murder House” character Constance Langdon and Lily Rabe’s “Coven” witch Misty Day.
The second season of “The Sinner” followed an entirely different case than the first, with only Bill Pullman’s Detective Harry Ambrose returning. HIs presence, apparently, was enough of a connection to nullify Season 2 as a limited series. The same goes for the second — and tentatively final — season of “American Vandal” which dove into a brand new mystery, with only documentarians Tyler Alvarez as Peter Maldonado and Griffin Gluck as Sam Ecklund returning.
According to Variety, the realignment affects only the upcoming 71st Emmy Awards, with each series remaining eligible to return to the limited series category, given they meet the eligibility requirements in future seasons.
Representatives for FX, Netflix, and USA, as well as the TV Academy, did not immediately respond to IndieWire’s request for comment on April 9.