new rules

The Emmys Decide That Being Funny Can Take Longer Than Half an Hour

Photo: ANGELA WEISS/AFP via Getty Images

Time for a time change. The Emmys will no longer determine eligibility for its comedy and drama categories based on whether a show is longer than half an hour. On Monday, the Television Academy announced the elimination of the time restriction it officially set in 2015; under that rule, shows that ran for 30 minutes or less were considered comedies while shows with longer running times were considered dramas. Nominees could formally petition if they did not agree with the category they were automatically placed in, but now producers will get to decide for themselves which category their show should be in. So all the people debating whether Succession is supposed to be a comedy may finally get a definitive answer (though the Academy is still reserving the right to let its industry panel review everyone’s choices).

The academy also clarified that a limited series must resolve a story arc in one season “with no on-going storyline and/or main characters in subsequent seasons.” That means, for example, that when Jennifer Coolidge said hi to a second season of The White Lotus, the show became ineligible to compete in the Outstanding Limited or Anthology Series category. The full list of changes to the 2021–2022 Emmys categories can be viewed here. There’s nothing in it about speeches, but in case the academy sees this, we’d like to say we wouldn’t mind leaving time limits on those.

The Emmys Decide Being Funny Can Take Longer Than 30 Minutes