Emmys Un-Twist: Jane the Virgin, Glee and Shameless Let Into Comedy Races

Three hour-long “dramas” may have the last laugh after all.

Though among the Primetime Emmy Awards’ rule changes for 2015 was the definition of a drama as a program “with an average length of approximately 60 minutes,” the appeals process that came with that shift thus far has allowed for three exceptions: The CW’s Jane the Virgin, Fox’s Glee and Showtime’s Shameless will be able to compete as comedies.

The Academy’s decision reads in part:

The nine-member panel, which includes five industry leaders appointed by the Academy Chairman and four appointees by the Board of Governors, has determined that the following three series are eligible to enter the competition in the comedy series category: Shameless, Jane the Virgin, and Glee. A two-thirds vote of the industry panel was required to reach each decision. … Each of these three series will compete in the comedy category for all other awards, including performer, writer, director, etc.

Glee was a formidable Emmy contender — as a comedy — in its earlier seasons, grabbing gold for Jane Lynch and guest stars Neil Patrick Harris and Gwyneth Paltrow, and as recently as last year earned nods for Lynch and guest star Dot Marie Jones. Shameless to date has amassed back-to-back-to-back-to-back nominations for guest actress Joan Cusack, while “patriarch” William H. Macy was a contender in the Lead Actor race year — after the dysfunctional family drama series switched to the comedy category.

Nominations for the 67th annual Primetime Emmy Awards (airing Sunday, Sept. 20 on Fox) will be announced July 16.

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  1. MrMank says:

    Does it really matter with Glee?

  2. Tvgeek says:

    Well I wish Noel fisher would get a nod simply for his ability to make me laugh and then cry in one short scene

  3. johnhelvete says:

    Maybe only a minor surprise with Shameless, the other two seemed obvious to me. Glad that they are being flexible with the category, but hope they are adamant with the difference between limited series and drama (True Detective is a limited series).

  4. Sara says:

    I can understand with Jane the Virgin and Glee, but Shameless really should be in the Drama category. Or better yet, they should just end all the shenanigans and finally come up with a “Dramedy” category.

    • johnhelvete says:

      Dramedy category would only work if the Emmys were allowed to nominate less than 5 series but they would need at least 3. So the category would be Shameless and OITNB, they would need either Glee (final season and is the quality Emmy worthy) or Jane the Virgin to have 3 in the category.

      • Sara says:

        Nashville and Empire could probably be added to the Dramedy mix, just off the top of my head. There are a lot of shows out there that don’t get nominations that could probably be considered “dramedies.”

        • Jooshua says:

          Currently.. Castle, Grimm, OITNB, Backstrom, OUAT, Shameless, The Flash, and Agents of SHIELD.. seem like they all could compete in Dramedy.

          • johnhelvete says:

            I did mention OITNB and you are kinda making my point. I like Castle, The Flash and have seen a few episodes here or there of Grimm but I would not nominate any of the three shows for an Emmy even in the dramedy category.

        • johnhelvete says:

          I dont think either show is a dramedy unless you want the category to be musical/dramedy. I like Empire and think it has a shot at Emmy noms in the drama category. Recently binged watched Nashville and got hooked but I cant agree that it is really an Emmy caliber show even if Connie Britton got a first season nomination.

          • Sara says:

            Some of the best things about Empire are more comedic in nature. To me, it is on par with Desperate Housewives, which competed (and won) in the comedic category. So, yes, it would fit perfectly in a hypothetical Dramedy category, and not because it is a musical, as you suggested.

          • Sara says:

            To continue, opening up a Dramedy category would open up more shows to get more nominations. There are some deserving actors and actresses on shows that will never get drama nominations and who don’t necessarily fit into the comedy category either. The very fact that so many people argue about whether or not a show fits into either the drama or comedy categories suggests that something more needs to be done other than this too easily overcome rule dictating the length of a “comedy.” Television has changed and there are more types of shows other than “comedy” and “drama.”

      • Tim says:

        Nurse Jackie’s dramedy and I’d say Togetherness is too.

        • johnhelvete says:

          Forgot about Nurse Jackie. Is the show still as good as the first few seasons though or would it be a filler nomination so the “dramedy category” would have 5 nominated shows?

      • Jooshua says:

        I didn’t say I was trying to contradict your point. I just mentioned more shows that would fit into a possible Dramedy category.

    • B says:

      transparent would definitely be added to that category along with other shows like silicon valley and nurse jackie…although since nurse jackie is in its last season that one wouldn’t make the list

  5. Marcus T. says:

    Is this to say that OITNB will have to go over to Drama then?

  6. LT says:

    Felicity Huffman won for Lead Actress in a COMEDY 10 years ago for DESPERATE HOUSEWIVES which was an hour long program and the Academy couldn’t have figured out these categories in all this time. SMH

  7. Mike R says:

    I still can’t believe Joan Cusack is considered a guest…

  8. webly3 says:

    I knew that Jane the Virgin and Glee would be exceptions. I’m surprised that we’re reading that Shameless was let in and Orange Is the New Black wasn’t. It’ll be very interesting how OITNB fares against the dramas… officially.

  9. Jared says:

    Shameless is not a comedy.

    • JenInChicago says:

      It is the perfect blend of comedy and drama. A mix of dark and lighter comedy…..It’s all over the place.

  10. Jen says:

    What is the point of putting restrictions on the categories just to then make exceptions. That makes no sense. Don’t get me wrong. I am glad that they are making exceptions because a show like Jane the Virgin is not a straight drama. It’s a dramedy. It has elements of both drama and comedy, but at the end of the day, I feel it’s more comedy than anything else. So, again, don’t get me wrong, I am glad exceptions are being made. I just don’t think it makes sense to put tighter restrictions on things just to then make exceptions for every little thing. Might as well not even put tighter restrictions.

    • Ally Oop says:

      I strongly disagree. Jane the Virgin is more dramedic than comedic. I agree though that the exceptions make the new rules ridiculous. The academy needs to eliminate the restrictions.

      • What show are you watching? It’s a comedy through and through for me. The soapy elements and murder plots are all over the top fun. The so-called dramatic moments, such as Rogelio’s “death”, while moving, never change the tone of the show. Breaking Bad was a hilarious show, but tonally, it was easy to recognize as a drama. There’s very few shows that are dramatic and never funny and vice versa.

  11. sublime says:

    CW for Emmy? They may get a token nomination for Jane for writing or something small, but Emmy voters mostly ignore the netlet, at least in major categories

    • Amy says:

      Which is a shame considering they have a ton of worthy shows and actors/actresses on board.

      • Sam says:

        Like what? Jane the Virgin’s the only one that even deserves to smell an Emmy. Their other shows are fun fluffy shows but with all the great shows on tv the CW shows just don’t belong in the running. The Oscars don’t nominate Twilight or The Hunger Games after all.

  12. brandydanforth81 says:

    Yay Jane & Glee

  13. Jared says:

    I love Jane the Virgin but I think it reads more as a drama with comedic elements than a traditional comedy.

    • LT says:

      hmmm, see and I’m the opposite.

    • Ally Oop says:

      I agree with you Jared. Jane is definitely a drama. Also, though I’ve always loved most CW fare, I honestly don’t think Jane is that great. I still watch it but it’s not must-see. I don’t understand the critical acclaim.

  14. awnb95 says:

    Well Glee’s screwed now. Not that it had much chance anyways, but here’s to hoping for for final season.

  15. A fan of TV says:

    This was the one new rule I took the most issue with…now can someone clarify the rules for Limited Series that are good enough for an Emmy nod, and thus are almost guaranteed at least consideration of a second series? Once you win as a limited series, it seems a little odd that you could suddenly dominate the regular categories? I mean, the miniseries or TV films these limited series are up against are totally different animals, filmed as one-offs and meant for that, while limited series’ are constructed with the possibility for continuity of both the stories and the characters…

  16. Spence says:

    As if Glee’s horrid final season is going to get any noms to begin with..

  17. Lauren says:

    Happy for Jane, don’t agree with Shameless but whatever gets them their much needed recognition!! Surprised they didn’t give it to oitnb as well.

  18. Ally Oop says:

    Stupid exceptions. 1-hour shows should compete with other 1-hour shows regardless of genre. From a writing standpoint, there’s so many advantages a 1-hour comedy has over a half-hour comedy, including more time on character development, story depth, etc.

  19. KevyB says:

    Why don’t they just bite the bullet and create either a Dramedy category or split comedy into Short-Form and Long-Form, which would basically be the same thing? Hour-long “comedies” are rarely chock-full of comedy, while half-hour comedies usually are (or try to be), with the only exception probably being “Louie”. This also could create four new acting categories (or six… don’t they have Leading, Supporting and Featured?) and the only things people want to see are the Show and Acting awards.

  20. Guest says:

    Shameless is one of the most groundbreaking shows on TV right now, I don’t get that with the existence of the internet it remains to be so underrated. It barely get’s any Emmy attention, if it wasn’t for Joan Cusack and the shows decision to submit itself as a comedy it wouldn’t get any Emmy nods. Every actor in that shows gives a stellar performance especially Emmy Rossum and William H. Macy . If shows like The Big Bang Theory can get multiple nods year after year then shows as great as Shameless should at least get nominations in the main categories. Honestly, the Emmys lose so much credibility with each passing year , I thought that these award shows were supposed to honor the best of the best not painfully repeat the same overrated shows again and again and again!!!!!!!!