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New Rules at the Emmy

With short form programming becoming less relevant over time, so does the number of Emmy categories dedicated towards it. We look into the rule changes for 2024’s edition for Emmys and its implications. By: Dylan Low

The Television Academy has just announced the first set of rule changes for 2024’s Primetime Emmys, involving major changes such as removing the short form animated program field and consolidating the short form performer categories.


The TV Academy has stated the changes come following “a decline in submissions over the past five years. “Currently, the short form animated program category has been merged with the animated program category, with the creation of two tracks – one for short form programmes between 2 to 20 minutes, and another for all other programmes spanning over 20 minutes. The first Emmy award for short form animated programs was given back in 2008, which will be newly reformatted this year.


Also, it has been unveiled the actor in a short form comedy or drama series and actress in a short form comedy or drama series will now be one category award, for the outstanding performer in a short form comedy or drama series. Emmys for the actor/actress in a short form comedy or drama series were first awarded back in 2016, which will now be revised into a singular performer prize. 


As for the guest performer category, the TV Academy has now claimed that cameos will not be permitted as part of the awards. “The minimum stand-alone and contiguous-screen time (performer has an ongoing engagement in the scene, on or off camera) for eligibility is 5% of the total running time of the submitted episode.”


Now, guest performers will have to meet the criteria of featuring in less than half (50%) of the eligible series episodes. They noted that this rule modification was set “to ensure that a guest performer’s role is significant to the episode being submitted.”


More changes include the addition of two Emmy-eligible titles: one being “Line Producer” that is awarded to documentary/nonfiction specials or series, and hosted nonfiction programmes. The other credit would be “Head of Workroom (aka Cutter/Fitter)” for costume design. According to a statement by the academy, “Their eligibility will be determined by the designer. Contribution to the project will be weighed on a percentage basis as is done for all other positions. Verification will be made by call sheet, deal memo and designer input. Those eligible must be individuals, rather than a costume house or facility. However, the head of a facility workroom may be considered.”


The hairstyling and makeup for a variety, nonfiction or reality program categories will now only consist of panels to pre-screen the submissions for nominations, where the full peer group votes in the last round to decide the Emmy winner.  This marks a huge contrast from the previously juried category.


With the 76th Annual Emmy awards being planned for September, submissions will be opening on Thursday, February 29th. The complete new Emmy Rules and Procedures Handbook will also be available online, from Monday, January 29th onwards. 

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