TV academy: A few snubs won't prompt Emmy changes

AP Television WriterJuly 13, 2014 

— When the Emmy Award nominations for next month's ceremony were unveiled, there was a glaring shortage of love for popular dramas "The Good Wife," "Scandal" and "The Blacklist."

Although some of those broadcast network shows received acting bids, all were snubbed in the best drama series category — eclipsed by cable and online programs that typically produce far few episodes per season than the 22 or so hours cranked out by broadcasters.

Is it time for a rules change or two, such as separating longer- and shorter-run series into two categories or maybe expanding the number of drama and comedy series nominees from six to 10?

Maybe, said the head of the TV academy, but it won't be because of criticism about this year's outcome, said Bruce Rosenblum, chairman and CEO of the Emmy organizing body.

The academy regularly reviews its rules and how they fit with the changing TV universe and will continue to do so as a matter of course, he said.

But he defended the bids announced last week.

"We're in a golden age of television" that produces more worthy Emmy contenders from varied outlets, Rosenblum told a meeting of the Television Critics Association on Sunday. The Emmy voters who represent the TV industry did a "terrific job" of nominating the best shows, he added.

He noted that the number of drama and comedy submissions have risen sharply in the past five years and said that the possibility of category expansion is "on the list" for consideration.

Rosenblum was also pressed about this year's "category-jumping" by some candidates. That includes the dark, prison-set series "Orange is the New Black," entered for best comedy series, as was "Shameless," about a highly dysfunctional family, which switched after failing to get traction in the past for top drama series honors. HBO's "True Detective," despite miniseries trappings including a closed-ended story, is a best drama series nominee.

HBO and new players such as Netflix ("House of Cards," "Orange is the New Black") are producing shows and releasing them in ways that represent an "evolution" of the TV business, Rosenblum said.

Shows today are "unique and varying and don't fit into neatly defined boxes," he said.

Might that prompt the academy to introduce new categories? That's not the academy's goal, he replied.

Don Mischer, executive producer of the 66th Primetime Emmy Awards ceremony hosted by Seth Meyers and airing Aug. 25 on NBC, said adding "more and more awards" is not the solution.

As it is, veteran producer Mischer has the challenge of fitting some two-dozen categories into a three-hour show and keeping it lively. Previous efforts to cut the time devoted to less glamorous awards on the telecast, such as writing and directing, have run into stiff opposition from guilds.

Lynn Elber is a national television columnist for The Associated Press. She can be reached at lelber@ap.org and on Twitter@lynnelber.

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