The changes made by the Television Academy will allow YouTube, Adult Swim, and more to be given greater consideration

By Jonathon Dornbush
March 02, 2016 at 12:00 PM EST
Paul Drinkwater/NBC/NBCU Photo Bank via Getty Images

In an effort to adapt to the many new platforms and formats on which television content is being viewed, the Television Academy has expanded its Short Form categories with new and revised awards.

Short Form Series will now be eligible for three different categories — Outstanding Short Form Series, Comedy or Drama, Variety, or Reality/Nonfiction. Additionally, there will be both Outstanding Actor and Actress in a Short Form Series (Comedy or Drama) awards. Short Form series must have at least six 15-minute or less episodes, and can have been made available on traditional network or cable TV networks, or on the Internet. The Outstanding Short Form Animated Program will remain the same going forward.

The Television Academy’s CEO and chairman Bruce Rosenblum said in a statement alongside the announcement that the intention is to “reflect the broader opportunities that emerging networks and distribution platforms, such as Maker Studios, Fullscreen, Crackle, AwesomenessTV, YouTube Red, Adult Swim, and others, are seizing in choosing innovative formats that enable our television community to share stories in novel and entertaining ways.” (This hopefully means there will be Emmys justice for whenever 2 Many Cooks is inevitably released as a six-part series.)

Such outlets like YouTube Red have recently begun rolling out original content like Scare PewDiePie and the film Lazer Team.

The Academy notes the changes are similar to those that saw growth in the nonfiction categories with the rise of reality programming. Nonfiction programming now recognizes achievements in 22 categories.

The Short Form categories are not the only areas to be altered wit hthis announcement. Directing and Writing categories for both comedy and drama will now include six nominations rather than five to account for the proliferation in considered content.

A less glamorous but still important change is the elimination of preferentional or ranked voting in the final round of voting. Where voters were previously required to rank the nominees, they will now just have to cast one vote for their No. 1 favored nominee. Ties will be broken by looking at which of the tying nominees won the most votes in the previous round of nominations.

And to further clarify what constitutes a limited series versus a regular series, the Academy will still consider established series with shortened seasons (less than six episodes) as regular series, unless that season is limited to one or two episodes. Then the series is considered for the Movie or Limited Series category.

Changes were also made to the Outstanding Directing for a Variety Series, Outstanding Costumes for Variety, Nonfiction, or Reality Programming from a Juried Award, and the nominationg process for Outstanding Visual Effects.