Emmys Will Pick Six in Major Categories
Best series, acting fields each get an extra nominee
The Academy of Television Arts and Sciences says it will expand the field of nominees for best comedy and drama series, and in the comedy and drama acting categories, from five to six starting with the 2009 Emmys. In the past those categories had six nominees only in case of ties.
At the same time, though, the academy is getting rid of the two-step nominating process it's used for the past few years. Under that system, nominees were determined by a vote of all academy members -- which determined the top 10 contenders in the series and acting categories -- and a series of "blue ribbon panels" whose votes helped narrow the field to five nominees (each step received equal weight in determining nominees).
The panel system was designed to help recognize under-the-radar shows and performers -- it was nicknamed "the Lauren Graham rule" after the "Gilmore Girls" star who was a perennial Emmy outsider despite frequent acclaim from critics and viewers. The TV academy hopes the expanded fields will accomplish the same thing while making the nomination process easier to understand.
Under the new-old system, all academy members will be able to vote on the nominees for best comedy and drama series. Drama and comedy acting nominees will be determined by other performers.