No more main title theme Emmy, and other TV Academy rules changes

Emmy The TV Academy has put the final nail in the TV theme song coffin.

Now that the once vibrant slice of pop culture — who doesn’t still know the words to the themes from “Gilligan’s Island” or “The Brady Bunch”? — has mostly disappeared from primetime, the Emmy category honoring main title songs is following suit.

The Academy announced Monday that the main title theme category would be eliminated effective next year, and replaced by the new “music composition for a non-fiction program” award. 

“This change was made due to the decreasing number of traditional television main title theme music,” the org said.

Indeed, TV themes virtually disappeared in the late 1990s, as networks experimented with ways to keep viewers from flipping channels. Just as they squeezed out closing credits, played with start and stop times (like last week’s 9:28 p.m. scheduling of “Glee”) and worked to seamlessly blend from one show to the next, webheads also dramatically reduced opening credit segments — or got rid of them all together.

The main title theme category ax was one of several rules changes announced by the Academy. But unlike past years, this round of changes were mostly small and housekeeping oriented.

In another switch, the separate hour-long and half-hour animation categories have now been combined into one. That has allowed for a new category for short-form animation.

Now that they’re combined, the consolidated animation category will balance the number of half-hour and hour-long nominees, depending on how many entrants there are. (For example, the Acad said that if there are 40 half-hour entries and 10 hour-long entries, then four nominees will be half-hour, and one nominee will be an hour.)

“These changes accomodate the fact that the ranks of animated programs more than an hour are diminishing and short-format animated programs (primarily web-platformed) are increasing,” the org said.

Meanwhile, the Academy will now allow multiple achievements from an individual or team in the same category — as long as they’re for different programs. That rule change will likely have the biggest impact in the guest acting categories, where thesps who have guested on multiple shows in a given year can now submit all of those entries.

Yes, that probably means Betty White will be competing against herself several times over.

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  1. You may remenber the four proverbs:
    No pains, no gains.
    No pleasure without pain.
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