Nobody really knows the difference anymore between TV and movies and amorphous blobs of content stuffed directly into your brain from the internet, but the Television Academy is trying to take a stand with its new Emmys rules. Per Indiewire, the Academy has decided that anything that’s trying to compete in the Outstanding Television Movie category has to be at least 75 minutes long. That’s easily interpreted as a jab at Black Mirror, an anthology series that has entered individual episodes into contention in the category and won. “USS Callister,” which won last year, is 76 minutes long, and therefore wouldn’t be ruled out, but “San Junipero,” which won in 2017 and is 61 minutes long, could not compete. Perhaps this will prevent category fraud, though maybe it will just encourage awards-bait TV episodes to manspread even further.
In addition to new TV-movie rules, the Academy also revised its rules about short-form categories, requiring a “new vetting procedure” that will have panelists evaluate prospective entries to the category. That seems likely to prevent entries like An Emmy for Megan, Megan Amram’s short-form series about trying to win an Emmy for a short-form series, from trying to game the system, though it’s also rude to try to tamp down such delightful ingenuity.
The Academy is also making one small change to the episodes that can be eligible for contention. They ruled that episodes set to air after the cutoff date for Emmy contention as part of a series that premiered before that date can be shared “on a distribution platform” in advance and still be counted. That’s useful for shows that air in late spring that might want their twists or finales sent to the Academy membership earlier.