Magazine article Variety

Finding a Way to End Snub Season

Magazine article Variety

Finding a Way to End Snub Season

Article excerpt

How many is too many?

When it comes to the Emmy Awards, it's hard to find consensus on any subject - but one thing is clear, there are never enough to go around.

But the very idea of adding awards is fraught. You'll be hard-pressed to find anyone who thinks the show itself should be longer. Host Jimmy Rimmel and producer Don Mischer will have their work cut out for them trying to wrangle the Primetime Emmys in at under the three-hour mark. Things already have gotten so bad over at its cousin, the Creative Arts Emmys, that the show has had to be split into two parts.

There is some good news about this year's Emmys: With many of last year's nominees and winners having retired to the TV hall of fame (RIP,"Mad Men,""Parks and Rec,""Nurse Jackie"), there's certainly ample opportunity for new entries to break in.

But now the bad news: It's an ever more crowded field, with way too many worthy nominees vying for those precious few slots. With 400-plus series on the air (and TV production showing no signs of slowing), odds are, the majority are going to get slighted.

I'm going to make a (not so) bold Emmy prediction right now: Come nomination day, there's going to be widespread disappointment. There will be a flood of "snubs" stories (including our own). I might as well start writing it now.

Last year, the TV Academy expanded the number of nominees in comedy and drama series from six to seven, but that was merely a ripple in the pond. (Make that the ocean.) And the new definition of half-hours and hours, while reining in the category-jockeying madness, still frustrates the creative community. "The Academy made everything worse," gripes one producer. "You're completely ignoring the actual content of the show. If that's the case, then change the name of the category to best half hour show and best hour show. It's just silly"

Execs complain that defining shows by length does little to level the playing field between broadcast and cable/streaming, a nagging sore spot for the kudosfest. Comedies that run on broadcast are limited to 21 minutes, while their cable and streaming counterparts can stretch to 35 minutes and more, and have far more creative freedom in terms of language and subject matter. …

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