Emmys: Primetime & Daytime Awards Get Realigned Based On Genre Not Airtime; Dramas, Talk Shows & Game Shows Impacted

Following the TV Academy and The National Academy of Television Arts & Sciences’ recent joint decision to spin off children’s and family programming into its own standalone ceremony, the two branches have extended their cooperation as they continue to try to update rules originally written decades years ago in order to reflect how people’s viewing habits have evolved.

Moving forward, the competitions will be organized solely by content genre as opposed to the current method, which separates programs based on program airtime. The changes, which will be included in the Call For Entries put out in January, will result in digital daytime dramas as well as other daytime programs, including some talk shows and game shows, potentially moving to the Primetime Emmy Awards.

Criteria such as how a show is filmed (on sound stage or on location, using one or multiple cameras) and how frequently it airs (daily or weekly) would determine whether a program stays in the Daytime Emmy race or switches to the Primetime one. (Despite the fact that a large portion of the TV content is consumed time-shifted on-demand, the two competitions will keep their Primetime/Daytime monikers for legacy reasons.)

Here are some of the changes by genre:

  • Daytime Dramas:

Daytime Drama categories will remain in the Daytime competition and be redefined as “any multi-camera, weekday daily serial, spinoff or reboot.” Programs for ages 15 and under will be represented in the recently announced Children’s & Family competition.

The other daytime scripted dramas, most notably streaming/digital series like The Bay, previously awarded in the Daytime Limited Drama categories, will transition to the Primetime competition. A series like Days Of Our Lives: Beyond Salem, which streams on Peacock and would’ve moved to the Primetime Emmys will instead be eligible for the Daytime Drama series field at the Daytime awards alongside the mothership Days Of Our Lives soap. 

  • Talk Shows:

Talk shows will be separated by format and style characteristics between the Daytime and Primetime Emmys. Most current daytime talk shows will remain in the Daytime Emmy competition based on them featuring interaction with the audience, including giveaways, as well as segments from other daytime genres, including crafting and cooking. Meanwhile, a daytime talker like The Ellen DeGeneres Show, now in its final season, could relocate to the Primetime Emmys as it resemble late-night talk show with a monologue, celebrity interviews and virtually no traditional daytime segments like cooking.

The Morning Show and Spanish-Language Morning Show categories will leave the Daytime competition; they will be eligible in the NATAS-administered News & Documentary Emmys or the Daytime competition’s Talk Show categories, depending on show format. While the news-heavy first two hours of NBC’s Today have competed in the Morning Show category, Today with Hoda & Jenna had been running in the Talk Show Informative Daytime Emmy field. Going forward, morning shows, will be part of the News & Documentary Emmys if they tend to be more news-driven, and of the informative talk show category at the Daytime Emmys if they skew more toward entertainment.

  • Game Shows

Game shows and Instructional & DIY programming categories will remain divided by airtime for the 2022 competitions, while the Academies look to a genre-based alignment for the 2023 competition year. Because daytime and primetime game shows are very similar, the organizations may look at frequency of airing (daily vs. weekly) and regular run vs. limited event like Jeopardy Tournament of Champions to make the distinction.

“NATAS and the Television Academy each pride ourselves on celebrating and honoring the best television has to offer, and with the evolution of our industry, it was critical to update our competitions to meet current trends in both content and viewing habits,” said Adam Sharp, President and CEO, NATAS. “These changes will allow each Academy to honor an undivided scope of achievement in our respective fields of television excellence.”

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