‘Orange Is the New Black’ Emmy Petition Denied — Jailed in Drama Category (EXCLUSIVE)


The TV Academy has denied Netflix’s “Orange Is the New Black” petition to be considered a comedy in this year’s Emmy race, Variety has learned exclusively. The show will have to compete as a drama, and its actors, writers and director in drama categories.

The streaming service had petitioned the Academy for a waiver, per the new rules that deemed half-hours as comedies and hour-longs as dramas. Earlier this week, the Academy had granted petitions by hourlongs Fox’s “Glee,” Showtime’s “Shameless” and the CW’s “Jane the Virgin” to be considered comedies.

See More: ‘Jane the Virgin,’ ‘Shameless’ and ‘Glee’ to Be Considered Comedies at 2015 Emmys

“Orange” competed as a comedy at last year’s Emmy Awards, where it earned 12 nominations (the most of any comedy) and won three, including one for guest actress Uzo Aduba. It was also considered a comedy at this year’s Golden Globes and Screen Actors Guild Awards, where the show won best comedy ensemble and Aduba won female actor in a comedy.

Each petition is reviewed by a nine-member panel, including five industry leaders appointed by the TV Academy chairman and four by the board of governors. The petitioners had to submit all episodes of the current season, which were then evaluated by the panel “as to whether it predominantly takes a comedic or a dramatic approach to the material,” explained John Leverence, the Academy’s senior VP of awards. It takes a two-thirds vote of the panel to reach a decision.

“’Orange Is the New Black’ is a truly pioneering series and an iconoclast which has always defied genre or easy categorization,” said Ted Sarandos, Netflix’s chief content officer. “While we’re disappointed in the committee’s decision, we believe that ‘Orange’ represents the best of television in either category.”

A spokesman for the TV Academy said it would comment only on changes of eligibility. There is no appeals process, but “Orange” can reapply next year.

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  1. Matt says:

    I don’t like this. Only because this crappy show will take undeserved Drama nominations from actually good Dramas. I never cared about the comedy categories. They’re useless. Everyone knows Drama is the real achievement.

    • Jack says:

      You’re a moron.

    • Matt says:

      Example: Like last year, it would be an HONOR to compete against Breaking Bad, True Detective, and Game of Thrones. That’s Drama History in the making. Remember, Comedy has nothing to do with this Golden Age of Television. Compared to Drama, Comedy is all but dead.

      • Jack says:

        Orange is the New Black is considered a pioneering show and it’s critically acclaimed. Again, you’re a moron.

  2. Alex says:

    No big deal, they’ll find another show no one watches to nominate. That’s what they’re doing these days, giving awards to shows and movies that no one what’s to see

  3. Love the show… But it is definitely NOT a comedy.

  4. Bill B. says:

    It seems more of a drama to me.

  5. Scott says:

    That’s fine but why have they allowed stuff like Nurse Jackie to be considered a comedy? It’s a shame how the Emmy’s and Golden Globes have given that show and Edie Falco all those comedy awards.

  6. dee says:

    Thank you! OITNB was never a comedy. I watched the first season, wondering where I was supposed to laugh – during rape, murder or when a newborn baby was taken away from its mother after just a few minutes of life. I thought it was a rip off to the real comedies competing that year.

  7. Melissa says:

    Why is Uzo Aduba labeled a “guest actress”? Shouldn’t she be considered Supporting?

  8. Matthew says:

    How is Shameless a comedy ?!??!

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