ATAS, PGA to collaborate on deciding eligibility
The Academy of TV Arts and Sciences has formally pacted with the Producers Guild of America to help determine Emmy eligibility.
As expected, the TV Acad’s board of governors addressed the issue at its regular meeting Wednesday night (Daily Variety, Jan. 22). Under the arrangement, the PGA will take first crack at coming up with a list of which producers should be considered for an Emmy in the program (including drama and comedy) categories.
The PGA has provided a similar service to the Academy of Motion Picture Arts & Sciences and the Hollywood Foreign Press Assn.
“The Producers Guild is committed to truth and transparency in producing credits, and is proud to collaborate with all industry organizations that share its core belief: That producing credits must faithfully reflect the producing work done,” the guild said in a statement.
At issue: Concerns that some names up for an Emmy in the program categories may not actually perform producer functions, even if the word “producer” is in their title. Some thesps and scribes, for example, have producer titles but are still mostly actors or writers on a program.
The TV Academy, like its film counterpart, has begun cracking down on credit proliferation — deciding two years ago to cap the number of individuals who can win a comedy series Emmy at 11, and a drama series Emmy at 10. Since then, Emmy nominations have been announced with producer credits listed as “TBA.” The academy then does a round of due diligence and investigation before disclosing which names are eligible a few weeks later.
That’s because many shows employ more individuals with a “producer” title than the cap allows — and last year, about 10% of names submitted via Emmy entries were initially cut from eligibility.
The Academy wound up reinstating somenames, and continues to err on the side of caution — leading to criticism that the org hasn’t done enough to curb the number of people who hop on stage to accept the top program prizes.
The involvement of the PGA will help the TV Academy in going through the tremendous amount of paperwork that comes with Emmy program submissions, as producers must spell out their involvement with the show.
But beyond that, it’s still up to the academy to make the final determination (via its producers and awards peer groups) on whether someone is eligible.
“While the rules, eligibility determinations and appeals process will solely be the academy’s, the resources and expertise of the Producers Guild will help ensure an objective and comprehensive process in order to preserve the integrity of the producer credit and the Emmy Award,” the academy said in a statement.