Emmys Rule Changes Good for ‘Lost’ Finale

Also, “Lost” finale will be simulcast in Europe, with 59 countries to see it within 48 hours of U.S. airing, in effort to prevent piracy

Even the Emmys are looking forward to "Lost’s" extended series finale on Sunday.

The Academy of Television Arts & Sciences’ board of governors met Wednesday night and approved several changes to the rules and procedures for the 2010 Primetime Emmy Awards, one of which directly affects the show’s highly anticipated finale.

The board updated its submission rules for an extended episode’s permitted length. Previously, rules limited submissions of extended-length episodes to twice the normal running time, which in the case of ABC’s "Lost" would be two hours. However, the "Lost" finale will run two and a half hours, and the TV Academy board is OK with that.

Also, the "Lost" finale will be simulcast in the U.S. and Europe — regardless of international time differences. In a statement, Disney said, "The continually accelerated international delivery of this groundbreaking show is in keeping with Disney’s commitment to offer consumers legitimate, flexible ways in which to enjoy its must-see programming." In other words, it’s trying to minimize online piracy.

The non-subtitled finale will air on Sky One in the U.K., on Fox Italia and Telecom Italia in Italy, Cuatro in Spain, Fox in Spain and Portugal, Digiturk in Turkey and HOT in Israel at 9 p.m. Pacific time, when the finale bows on the West Coast of the U.S. CTV Canada will have the show simultaneous with the East Coast broadcast.

Disney said 59 countries around the world will air the final episode between 24 and 48 hours after the U.S. broadcast, with subtitles for viewers in non-English-speaking territories, as part of their existing "Hot From the U.S." deals with Disney Media Distribution. Also part of the "Hot" package are ABC series “Desperate Housewives” and “Grey’s Anatomy.”

Other Emmy rule and category changes, in ATAS’ words: 

Makeup for a Single-Camera Series & Hair for a Single-Camera Series

Makeup achievements in nonfiction programming will now be included in eligibility in the Makeup for a Single-Camera Series category; likewise Hair achievements in nonfiction programs will now be eligible in the Hair for a Single-Camera category. Both categories’ prior rules limited eligibility to makeup or hair achievements in a single episode of a drama or comedy series.

TD Cam for a Series

Half-hour shows and one-hour or longer shows will have nominations proportional to the number of submissions for each. This is a change from prior years, in which the top five vote-getters, regardless of length, emerged as the nominations.

Hanging Episodes

Brought to the Television Academy’s attention by Starz, which has a series with multiple hanging episodes, the last of which will air just after the deadline for the return of ballots this year, hanging episodes will now be permitted to be webcast for Primetime Emmy consideration prior to their telecast should that telecast occur after the submission period has closed. Prior rules stipulated that eligible episodes be presented on the same platform as the episodes that qualify the series.