Emmys Chief on Fishy Category Entries: ‘We Definitely Need to Look at It’

TCA 2014: Bruce Rosenblum addresses fears shows are entering incorrect categories to increase chances of winning

emmys 2014 tca
From left, Paul Telegdy, Don Mischer, Mike Shoemaker, Seth Meyers, Bruce Rosenblum

Reporters pressed Television Academy’s chairman and chief executive office Bruce Rosenblum to explain possible abuses of category rules by producers/networks hoping to increase their chances of winning an Emmy.

“Orange Is the New Black” and “Shameless” entered as comedies? “Treme” entered as a miniseries? Why is someone considered a guest star when they appear in as many episodes as series regulars? Should 22-episode per season dramas compete against dramas with less than half the episode order?

Early in the Television Critics Association press tour panel for the 66th Primetime Emmy Awards, Rosenblum seemed less enthused about taking a look at these possible abuses, saying that the organization doesn’t reexamine itself based on criticism.

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“We look at rules every year, but it’s possible that we will,” he said.

It became clear over the course of the panel that the issue hadn’t been put to bed for reporters.

“This isn’t a new problem,” he said. “I remember ‘Desperate Housewives’ entered into the comedy category. So, this isn’t something that is a new issue for the category to be raised. It predates my tenure here.”

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Nevertheless, Rosenblum went on to say later in the panel, “But as an organization, should we look at refining those rules? We should definitely look at it.”

He would later add, “I think it’s less about the rules and more about our industry is evolving. Just look at the kinds of shows that are being produced and the networks that are ordering those shows. We didn’t have Netflix and we didn’t have HBO ordering just eight episodes … I do think we need to step back and take another look at the rules, again not responding to criticism but by the evolution of the industry.”

Executive producer Don Mischer weighed in, noting, “There is a blurring of the content nowadays and with these different platforms. It’s really difficult to have straight, ironclad procedures that clearly delineate where all these shows fall. It’s just really tough. And the solution to that is not to simply add more and more awards. We just have to do the best we can do.”

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“For the record,” host Seth Meyers interjected to lighten the mood. “We tried to enter ‘Late Night’ as a miniseries and they didn’t let us.”