Emmys Expand Comedy and Drama Series Categories to 8 Nominees Each

Emmy Winners 2019 Full List

The Peak TV era is an embarrassment of riches — and the Emmys are reflecting that.

The Outstanding Drama and Comedy Series categories will now have eight nominees each year, the Television Academy announced on Wednesday. This rule change goes into effect with this year’s 72nd annual Emmys; nominations will be announced on Tuesday, July 28.

Other categories may have up to eight nominees as well, depending on the number of submissions received by the Academy. (If a category receives 240 or more submissions, for example, it will have eight nominees.) But the Comedy and Drama Series categories will always have eight nominees, regardless of the number of submissions. The Academy reports that overall submissions for this year’s Emmys are up 15 percent from the previous year.

“The increase in submissions is a reflection of the number of new voices, new television platforms and a tremendous growth in content from existing platforms across our industry,” Television Academy chairman and CEO Frank Scherma said in a statement. “Despite production suspension resulting from COVID-19, there is a wealth of excellent work submitted for this year’s competition.”

Traditionally, the Drama and Comedy Series categories had five nominees each, but in recent years, with the explosion in cable and streaming content, the categories have expanded to six or seven nominees. Last year, the Emmys had eight nominees in the Drama Series category for the first time, while the Comedy Series category had eight nominees in 2018.

Jimmy Kimmel is returning to host this year’s Emmys, set to air on ABC on Sunday, Sept. 20 — but after the Oscars and the Tonys were postponed by the global coronavirus pandemic, there’s still no word on whether the Emmys might be similarly delayed. ABC has promised that more details on this year’s ceremony will be announced “soon.”