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Emmys' new rules say comedies must be 30 minutes or shorter

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Tommaso Boddi/WireImage

The Emmys announced new rules on Friday putting time limits on comedies, as well as attempting to clear up category confusion elsewhere. According to the Emmys, comedies have episodes that are 30 minutes or shorter, while dramas are over 30 minutes.

This rule will directly affect shows like Orange Is the New Black, which competed as a comedy at last year’s awards but runs longer than 30 minutes. 

There is a chance, however, for a show to change its fate. “Producers may formally petition a new Academy industry panel to consider their series’ eligibility in the alternative category,” the new rules read. However, the drama and comedy series categories will have more spots to fill: Seven shows will now be nominated in each category. 

The rules now also state that those submitting for nomination in the Guest Actor categories must be in “less than 50” percent of a program’s episodes. (Orange Is the New Black‘s Laverne Cox, Uzo Aduba, and Natasha Lyonne were all nominated as Guest Actresses last year.)

The Emmys are also changing “miniseries” to “limited series,” which are “defined as programs of two or more episodes with a total running time of at least 150 program minutes that tell a complete, non-recurring story, and do not have an ongoing storyline and/or main characters in subsequent seasons.” Also, the Variety category is getting split between Variety Talk and Variety Sketch.

Read all the new rules here