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Emmys Combine Lead, Supporting Acting Categories for Movies and Miniseries

Outstanding Actor and Actress in a Miniseries or Movie categories will include six nominees each

The Emmys are combining the lead and supporting categories in the movies and miniseries categories.

The consolidated categories (now titled Outstanding Actor in a Miniseries or Movie and Outstanding Actress in a Miniseries or Movie) will include six nominees each. The previously existing categories previously had five nominees.

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The combination will likely make it harder for those in supporting film and miniseries roles to win Emmys. If the lead and supporting categories had been merged in 2010, for example, Julia Ormond would have had to compete with Claire Danes, who won the lead actress Emmy while playing the titular character in the movie "Temple Grandin." Ormond, who was nominated for supporting actress, had a much smaller role in the film.

The combination continues a streamlining that began with merging the movie and miniseries categories. The Academy of Television Arts & Sciences’ Board of Governors announced in February of last year that it would unite the category into one, partly in response to fewer miniseries being produced.

The decision came under the Emmy's "rule 14," allowing consolidation of categories if there were fewer than 14 submissions in a two-year period.

"It's kind of a respiratory system: You breathe in, you breathe out, you expand here, you contract there," John Leverance, the academy's senior vice president of awards, told TheWrap.