Emmys

2014 Emmy Race Exclusive: Merged TV-Movie/ Miniseries Category Headed For a Breakup

62nd Primetime Emmy Awards - InsiderThe resurgence of the television miniseries could lead to a major (and overdue) shift in the 2014 Emmy race.

TVLine has learned exclusively that the Academy of Television Arts & Sciences will soon consider a proposal to separate movies and miniseries into separate categories.

“The recommendation has been made and it is on the agenda to be discussed at the February 4 Awards Committee meeting,” an Academy rep confirms.

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A dearth of miniseries led the Academy to consolidate movies and minis into one category in 2011. (This came after the 2010 race featured just two miniseries contenders — HBO’s The Pacific and PBS’ Return to Cranford.)

Over the next three years, as the cable and broadcast nets saw the potency of short-order, limited/anthology series like Sundance’s Top of the Lake, History’s The Bible, FX’s American Horror Story and Fox’s upcoming 24: Live Another Day, the form staged a huge comeback. (One insider predicted that there could be more than four dozen minis in contention this year, with the number of original movies not far behind.)

If the Academy signs off on the rule change, as many expect it will, don’t expect the three-hour telecast to grow in length. According to sources, the proposed split would only be for the program categories; the performer categories would remained combined for now. [Editor's Note: An earlier version of this story erroneously said the movie/mini acting categories would be separated, too.]

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45 Comments
  1. Nikki says:

    They need to break up the TV series category into one for web series (ala netflix, amazon, etc) from standard network shows. Too many network shows aren’t getting the recognition they deserve because of these online shows (which are also good).

    • Simon Jester says:

      Then the networks should make better shows.

      • TV Gord says:

        They are; The Blacklist and The Good Wife immediately spring to mind. I believe there’s a bit of cable snobbery going on that will likely never allow them to win, though. Cable shows have a definite advantage among those to believe nudity and extreme language and violence equals quality.

        • Kat says:

          It’s not about that. Mad Men and Breaking Bad are basic cable shows and neither had “nudity and extreme language and violence.” Breaking Bad (and I’m assuming Mad Men) got one F-word a season, and it had to be dipped, meaning they had to bleep it out on air. Hardly “extreme.”

          • TV Gord says:

            Fair enough on the basic cable shows, but they can still get away with much more than network. That wasn’t my only point. What are your thoughts on cable snobbery?

        • tabularasa says:

          It’s not really snobbery. It’s just that a lot of cable shows are putting out better quality shows than network. I’d take Breaking Bad, Justified, Boardwalk Empire, Game of Thrones, The Americans, and Orphan Black over 95% of what’s on Network.

  2. abz says:

    I think they maybe should consider a Dramedy category. So many shows fall in the middle of comedy and drama.

    • David4 says:

      Exactly. Gilmore Girls never got nominated for anything and that would fit perfectly. This makes more sense than “web / network” break up like Nikki suggested.

    • Pollock says:

      Thanks ! Nurse Jackie, Enlightened, Girls, House of Lies will fit in this segment better imho !

    • scooby says:

      No way. It would completely water it down and the show’s already really long–plus who decides what a dramedy qualifies as? The people who make the shows might try to swear a comedy that isn’t that funny is supposed to be a dramedy to fudge things and get in what might be an easier category that year. Like when they said Political Animals was a miniseries. It wasn’t, it was a cancelled series. They knew entering it as a drama series would get them squat because the field was too tough. The actors on the shows should be able to submit for the work they’ve done that season in either comedy or drama and change it from “actor in a comedy” to “comedic actor” for instance. Some years Lauren Graham should’ve been able to submit for her dramatic work, others her comedy. The thing is the Emmys and other awards shows tend to get cranky about switching so they made it hard to do that.

      • abz says:

        I think there are shows that could be considered both yet are often forced to pick and choose between Comedy and Drama. As mentioned above, Gilmore Girls was one of them. So are shows like Glee, Orange Is The New Black, etc. I even remember reading posts about how so many other shows aren’t considered comedies, yet are nominated under comedies. Nurse Jackie is one that comes to mind. I’ve never watched it, but I’ve seen the same comment about it from several posters.
        Also, in terms of the length of the show, not all categories are shown on the live broadcast, and it’s not like the show is every week. It’s only once a year, so it’s not a big deal.
        The same thing goes for who decides what would qualify as a comedy, miniseries, drama, etc–> the Emmy commitee people or whoever. The showrunner can try to push for their show as a comedy or drama, but wouldn’t there be criteria set out that they would have to meet? They can try and submit, but in the end, the Emmy people decide.
        Regarding actor submissions –> there are actors out there who provide both comedic relief and dramatic acting in a single show.

  3. Who are you says:

    About damn time!

  4. thedemonhog says:

    This is an awful idea. There are too many categories as it is.

    Between actors and actresses, lead, supporting and guest, comedy, drama and movie/mini and having six slots in most categories, they do know that they already nominate at least ninety-two acting performances every year, plus ties and voice acting. Then they have eight categories for best sound.

    Is being nominated for an Emmy even that prestigious with that in mind? The Oscars only nominate twenty and have a better reputation and brand for it.

    • Lincoln says:

      The Oscars are all about MOVIES. The Emmy’s encapsulate TV shows, mini-series, AND TV movies. How on earth do you think it’s fair to pit a TV show against a TV movie or a TV movie against a miniseries? There’s a major difference. You don’t see the Oscars putting short films in the same categories as full length movies, do you?

  5. Teri Shannon says:

    Either make a Dramedy a category or put Castle in the Drama category so it can be considered for an Emmy. It is too deserving not to be nominated and hopefully win.

    • abz says:

      To be honest, Castle is a fun show to watch, but I personally don’t see it as Emmy worthy. But that’s just my opinion. The only way I could ever see Castle getting a potential Emmy nomination would be if they split up network and cable categories, but that is probably not going to happen.

      • Butters says:

        i agree with you. I am waiting for the Castle Fans to start flaming you. They are very passionate about their show.

      • Hannah says:

        Not just your opinion it’s a fact. Shows like Castle are the recipients of awards like the People Choice’s and get big ratings that guarantee many seasons, fame and money. Its’s shows like the Good Wife, Hannibal, (maybe Parenthood? can’t think of many else) that are disadvantaged for being on network in the race for awards cause they have to balance decent ratings necessary for renewal (much harder on CBS than AMC) and quality level.

    • Josh says:

      Castle is a super fun show and I watch it whenever it’s on reruns, but it isn’t Emmy worth IMO. Not ever great show deserves an Emmy. I loved Chuck but I never thought it deserved any Emmy(okay maybe one from Yvonne Strahovski but that’s because she did great face acting :P).

    • awnb95 says:

      Ooo a dramady category would be a good idea. There are a few if not many shows I watch that would fit that better.

  6. I’d much rather they divide network and cable shows, it is unfair to pit them up against one another when cable to not have the restrictions of money language nudity etc that network has

    • cjeffery7 says:

      i can see maybe putting online networks like Netflix and pay-for-cable channels like HBO in their own category, as they can be accessed without a cable subscription. i realize broadcast can be accessed for virtually free but when you get cable you get broadcast channels too, so i’d see them staying together as they are part of the same package.

      • Lincoln says:

        Honestly, I agree. Cable shows should get their own categories and should not be placed with network shows. For starters, cable shows are normally about 12 episodes a season. Network shows are at most 22-24 episodes a season. (Downtown only had about 8!). I don’t understand how a show that has only 12 episodes can beat a show with 22. I also don’t see how an actor who has only done work on 8 episodes is more deserving than an actor who has done 22.

        • abz says:

          While I agree with other posters that networks should step up their game. I feel that at times they are at a disadvantage with the 22 episode requirement. Remember the whole Revenge/Mike Kelley/ABC problem about him wanting to do shorter seasons of the show and how they wouldn’t agree to it..
          12-16 episode cable shows IMO are at a greater advantage because they aren’t forced to stretch their shows and storylines at out over an entire year and end up with a lot of filler. They can get straight to the point without much filler and keep the episodes interesting and engaging.
          Obviously there are some network shows out there that make the best of the their extended episode load and still provide some great or at least pretty good TV. The Good Wife, Person of Interest, Elementary, Arrow, and Scandal are a few that come to mind.

        • cjeffery7 says:

          if it was an issue of who did more work, there’d be no way to choose someone as more deserving than any other. take tatiana maslany on orphan black, for example. she’s playing 5 or 6 characters over 12 episodes. she’s arguably done the same amount if not more work than an actor playing one character for 22 episodes. cable and broadcast channels increasingly compete directly with one another for viewers & ratings, and cable really made the first move by emulating a broadcast tv format. now broadcast is starting to emulate cable because they’ve seen the success of it. i just have a hard time classifying them as that different from one another, at least enough for them to be their own category.

    • Superhero says:

      Money, language, and nudity aren’t the primary reasons why cable wipes the floor with the networks. Cable dramas are simply more ambitious and more complex. The networks COULD do that if they wanted to, but they choose to instead largely recycle the same crap. They have no one to blame but themselves for that.

      • AJ says:

        Thank you for saying that! A lot people like to believe that the reason why network shows never get nominated is because cable can get away with more stuff, but that is just not true. Cable always comes up with great shows, while the networks just keep releasing new police procedural every year (off the top of my head, this year they have Chicago PD, The Blacklist and Ironside). Networks can make great shows (The Good Wife, Community & Hannibal for example) but they just need to put more faith into their writers and showrunners.

        • Lincoln says:

          I’m sorry but you’re wrong. The fact that cable shows can get away with a lot more than network shows is a major reason why cable shows are nominated more than network shows these days. There are very very very strict guidelines that network shows are forced to adhere to. Because of this, they’re limited to what they can show and what they can do or where they can go in terms of storylines. You can get away with a boatload of stuff on cable which in turn makes these shows impactful and more memorable.

      • Hannah says:

        Or they can blame the American public. Braking Bad, Mad Men, etc. have Terrible ratings compared to network because only a few million people will watch quality stuff, while the rest prefers easier shows like NCIS and Big Bang Theory while those few quality shows on network are in constant peril on cancellation (TGW, Parks, Community…). Cables “get away with more”, but that “more” is not nudity and violence (even if that helps sometimes -exibit 1: Game of Thrones), it’s actually quality, which the majority of the Nielsen box owners can’t stomach.

    • Britta Unfiltered says:

      Networks could dump more money into their shows if they really wanted to. With owners like Disney and Comcast, they have deep pockets. If you look at shows like SHIELD, they actually are dumping a tremendous amount of money into some of them, and they’re still coming out terrible. And language and nudity don’t make a show good. Justified is currently my favorite show on TV, and you don’t really hear much in the way of swearing in that show, though it does happen occasionally. And the rare times they have nudity, I think it sticks out badly and makes the show look very poor and gratuitous. What makes shows like Justified, Mad Men, and Breaking Bad so great is the fantastic writing and the fact that the writers and producers actually care about what they’re doing on their shows. BTW, Mad Men, which is a three-time Emmy winner, never has nudity or swearing, so your theory about language and nudity giving a show an advantage at the Emmys holds no water here.

  7. Jill says:

    Why don’t they move the director awards, and such,to the creative Emmy’s. Keep the actors and their shows on the telecast, including guest actor and actress. And whom ever suggested a “Dramedy” category is a genius! I love a lot of the shows that are in between. If that would have been an option, Gilmore Girls would have swept their categories for years!

  8. Eli says:

    Like many others have said, they need to divide network shows from cable/online shows

  9. mel says:

    They need to do more than this – they need to separate series that run 13-15 episodes and those that run a full 22 or so. The short seasons are really mini-series and can do more with quality than what a 22 episode season has to try. Plus, most cable series are shorter. I don’t watch emmys any more because it is all cable series all the time anymore, which I don’t watch. I watch network shows which are good also. Since they are not nominated anymore – I don’t watch as I do not have a vested interest in the nominees. Need to come up with a solution that doesn’t totally disregard the networks anymore. Many of us do not have cable so don’t watch!!

    • Britta Unfiltered says:

      Good grief, do you not even have Netflix or access to a public library with TV DVDs? You should expand what you watch. You’ll enjoy television more once you see all the wonderful things that are out there.

  10. Jared says:

    Not splitting the ACTOR categories is so unfair!

    • Britta Unfiltered says:

      It does seem a little weird, like how the Golden Globes will combine the supporting drama/comedy acting categories, but separate the lead drama/comedy categories. I’m not a fan of what they’re suggesting to do for the very reason you just said.

  11. Gail says:

    There are so many awards already and most people commenting here want to add more just so that your favorite show can win? There once was a separate awards show for cable called the Cable Ace Awards. When the Emmys started allowing cable shows to compete for awards it was on condition that the Ace awards stopped. You might as well go back to giving cable their own awards show if you think broadcast TV is at a disadvantage when competing with cable. Of course what is the point of giving a show an award if you have to remove the stronger competition. I think one solution could be to limit the number of years a show is eligible to compete. After say 4 years a show is no longer eligible for an Emmy. It would reduce the number of repeat nominations each year.

  12. gayle johnson says:

    Let’s face it the Emmy people need to do some serious “house cleaning”, regrouping, or something. There are a lot of great shows that are being overlooked for whatever reasons. For 5 seasons they pretty much overlooked the best cop show that ever hit TV, SOUTHLAND. (and unfortunately now TNT cancelled instead of making effort to market better). I have been watching cop shows since the days of Dragnet, and Southland was amazing in every way. The only recognition they got was for Stunt Coordinator, which was great (I think they won twice) The whole show was emmy-worthy in all aspects, but as far as the actors, Michael Cudlitz’ portrayal of Officer John Cooper was superb every season, but esp. s5 when his acting was above and beyond (esp last 2 epi, Chaos and Reckoning), but yet the Emmys once again passed right over him. I felt it was a real insult to such a fine actor. Hopefully, if they somehow regroup and make some changes, maybe some of the great shows and actors that have been overlooked will finally get their day.

  13. DavidSask says:

    When will the Globes find out what is comedy and what is NOT? That is what needs to be separated and fixed once and for all!

  14. RobD381 says:

    Please please tell the people in charge of the Golden Globes to separate some of their categories too; it was bizarre seeing The Wolf of Wall Street win for Best Comedy or Musical – I haven’t seen it, but I am assuming they didn’t sing, and what humor was in it was incidental to the overwhelmingly immoral and unethical plot and characters – definitely not a comedy.
    More to the subject, since when can you make only 8 episodes of a show and call it a mini-series? Seems lazy and an easy way to save on writers’ salaries.

    • Hannah says:

      When I first saw the trailer I thought it was a documentary on Leo di Caprio’s life with his collections of airhead babes and too much money to spend, directed by his buddy Scorsese.

  15. awnb95 says:

    Am I just weird that I’m not interested and can’t get into any of the shows that critics and viewers aps* over. Examples Breaking Bad, Mad Med, anything HBO or Showrime, etc. only exceptions are Scandal and Glee when it was popular, but I liked those before everyone went ape.

  16. Sandra Slack says:

    I seen the movie wolves on Wall Street and I thought I was watching a porno flick,in my opinion bad language, bare naked bodies and sex does not make a good movie.

  17. Thank you for sharing your thoughts. I really appreciate your
    efforts and I will be waiting for your next post thanks once again.

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