Of course this is all about keeping the Emmy telecast on time and more interesting, it has nothing to do with the fact that broadcast networks were effectively shut out of the categories that may be moved to tape. Of course.
Eight of the 28 honors in the Primetime Emmy Awards will be prerecorded and then time-shifted into the main broadcast this year, according to a proposal presented to the Academy of Television Arts & Sciences' board on Wednesday night.
According to sources, the categories affected include outstanding movie and miniseries; writing for dramatic series and movies/miniseries; directing for variety, music and comedy and movie/miniseries; and the supporting actor and actress awards in the longform arena.
Practically, the maneuver means that any award for writing on "Mad Men," for example -- which nabbed four of five writing nods -- will be presented off air, with the acceptance speech shown during the broadcast. Organizers are referring to this play-back approach as "time-shifting" selected awards.
Notably, the major broadcast networks were completely omitted from the nominations in movies and miniseries. HBO and Lifetime took all the movie noms, and there were only two nominated miniseries. HBO also accounted for half the nominations for supporting actor and actress in a movie or miniseries.
The decision is expected to anger some writers, directors and producers of longform programming, but CBS -- this year's presenting network -- and the academy will argue that except for the Oscars, other major awards have made similar concessions in an effort to improve ratings.