Primetime and Daytime Emmys to Realign Awards Based on Genre

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The Primetime and Daytime Emmys will look different moving forward. The National Academy of Television Arts & Sciences (NATAS) and the Television Academy announced plans to realign the two longtime award ceremonies based on genre versus airtime, which is the current method. 

That means all scripted dramas and comedies will compete for the Primetime Emmys regardless of airtime unless the program meets one of two exceptions, which would move them to the Daytime competition. Additionally, programs that previously competed in the Daytime Limited Drama category will now compete at the Primetime Emmys. 

Other changes will affect talk shows, morning shows, game shows and DIY programming. 

The move, according to the two organizations, is to reflect “evolving viewing habits, reduce category overlap and provide clarity on eligibility requirements.” It’s also the first significant change to both awards since the two organizations became separate entities in 1977. 

“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,” said Adam Sharp, President and CEO of NATAS. “These changes will allow each Academy to honor an undivided scope of achievement in our respective fields of television excellence.”

“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,” added Maury McIntyre, President and COO of the Television Academy. 

Here’s a full list of “notable updates”: 

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


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