ATAS extending nom ballot due date

Screener tapes, postal problems cause delay

Glitches related to the new at-home voting process have forced the Academy of Television Arts & Sciences to push back the deadline for Emmy ballots until Aug. 21.

Ballots had been due this week, but voters will now have five extra days — and, perhaps more importantly, another weekend — to send in their preferences.

The main reason for the change: Delays in getting out screener tapes to voters meant those participating in the process wouldn’t have enough time to watch nominated programs. In addition, the number of Academy members requesting to be part of the process was much higher than anticipated, according to insiders.

Postal problems have plagued other kudofests this year. Last spring, the Academy of Motion Picture Arts & Sciences had to send out a new batch of ballots after the first round went missing. AMPAS also extended its voting deadline by two days.

Following complaints by critics that Emmy had become too conservative in its choices, the TV Academy decided to switch to at-home balloting this year as an experiment. Rather than being judged by blue-ribbon panels, nominated programs and actors will now be selected by Academy voters who signed up to view tapes at home and then make their decision via mail.

ABC will air this year’s Emmycast on Sunday, Sept. 10.

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