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Television Academy and NATAS to Realign Daytime and Primetime Emmys

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Emmy Awards
73rd Emmy Awards

The National Academy of Television Arts & Sciences (NATAS) and the Television Academy will be realigning its annual Daytime and Primetime Emmy® Awards in “response to shifts in consumer viewing habits.” Moving forward, the competitions will be organized solely by content genre, as opposed to the current method, which separates programs based on program airtime.

The announcement, which follows the Academies’ recent collaboration on expanding the Children’s & Family Emmy Awards into a standalone franchise, represents a transition that allows the competitions to reflect consumers’ evolving viewing habits, reduce category overlap, and provide clarity on eligibility requirements.

Adam Sharp, President and CEO, NATAS, released the statement, “NATAS and the Television Academy each pride ourselves on celebrating and honoring the best television has to offer, and with the evolution of our industry, it was critical to update our competitions to meet current trends in both content and viewing habits. These changes will allow each Academy to honor an undivided scope of achievement in our respective fields of television excellence.”

Maury McIntyre, President and COO, Television Academy, added, “The realignment of these Emmy competitions represents the most significant collaboration between the Television Academy and NATAS since the two became separate entities in 1977. We’re proud to be responsive to the needs of the creative community and the evolution of our industry, ensuring the Emmy Award remains the preeminent mark of excellence across all genres of television.”

While further information by category will be forthcoming in the Daytime Emmys® Call for Entries, scheduled for release in January 2022, notable updates include:

A. Scripted dramas and comedies will enter the Television Academy-administered national competition, irrespective of airtime, with two exceptions which will enter NATAS’ national competitions: (1) Programming intended for ages 15 and under will be represented in the Children’s & Family competition; and (2) the Daytime Drama categories will remain in the Daytime competition and be redefined to include “any multi-camera, weekday daily serial, spin-off or reboot.”

B. Programming previously awarded in the Limited Drama categories of the Daytime competition will transition to the Primetime competition.

C. Talk shows will be awarded in each competition, separated by format and style characteristics reflective of current programming in the daytime or late night space.

D. The Morning Show and Spanish-Language Morning Show categories will be retired from the Daytime competition, with such programming eligible instead in the NATAS-administered News & Documentary Emmys or the Daytime competition’s Talk Show categories, depending on show format.

E. Game Show and Instructional & DIY programming categories will remain divided by airtime for the 2022 competitions, while the Academies look to a genre-based alignment for the 2023 competition year.

F. All other categories will be clarified such that content creators will submit to a single competition on the basis of submission genre, irrespective of airtime.

G. The Daytime, Primetime, and Children’s & Family judging periods will be spread out on non-conflicting timelines throughout the year to allow adequate time for submissions and judging.

The Television Academy and NATAS will also form a joint-Academy panel charged with making eligibility determinations between competitions and respective categories. Show producers who are unsure of the competition for which they are eligible or who are petitioning to switch contests will be encouraged to submit to the eligibility review panel prior to submission.

As submissions continued to rise in conjunction with the increase in content, the two academies capitalized on this moment to strategize on this new approach and use the shift to genre-based awards to ensure the competitions’ continued evolution and relevance.

While the majority of categories will be realigned for the 2022 competitions, Game Show and Instructional & DIY programming categories will remain divided by airtime for the 2022 competitions while the Academies look to a genre-based alignment for the 2023 competition year.

The academies are committed to ensuring a smooth transition, and entrants will be encouraged to submit any category eligibility questions to a joint-Academy panel charged with making eligibility determinations. The academies are taking steps to ensure these inquiries can be handled in a timely manner so as not to impact the ability of entrants to meet submission deadlines.

The academies have also released an FAQ that addresses some of the questions many members and non-members will likely have:

Why was now the time for this realignment?

NATAS and ATAS have recognized that, as consumer viewing habits have evolved, having two award competitions that cover awards based on when they air as opposed to the content does not make sense.

Considering the shift from a focus on scheduling to a focus on genre, will the two competitions keep their respective names?

Yes, all the Emmys Competitions and shows will retain their current names in recognition of their longstanding respective legacies.

Do the two academies have plans to re-merge?

There are currently no discussions on that. With an ever-growing field of amazing content worthy of recognition, there’s more than enough to keep both Academies very busy and thriving independently. This realignment allows for that to work more sustainably.

When will the call for entries take place?

Call for entries will occur in January 2022.

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