Hoping to avoid a repeat of last year’s scuffle over Emmy nominations, the TV academy may bring in the Producers Guild of America to help determine eligibility.
Move would mirror the Academy of Motion Picture Arts & Sciences, which in recent years has relied on the Producers Guild to decide which producers should be considered for an Academy Award (with a cap at three names). The Hollywood Foreign Press Assn. relies on the Guild to determine Golden Globes eligibility as well.
The Academy of TV Arts and Sciences’ Board of Governors will discuss the issue at its regularly scheduled meeting on Wednesday.
Like the Academy Awards, officials for the Emmys have grown weary in recent years of producer credit inflation. These days, the stage is almost always crowded when a show wins for outstanding drama or comedy.
That led the TV academy 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.
Last year, the org got more aggressive in policing those caps, installing a more vigorous vetting process to ensure that producers attached to Emmy-nominated programs were truly deserving. The Academy itself investigated who should or shouldn’t be included; as a result, about 10% of names submitted via entries were initially cut from eligibility.
But the TV academy wound up softening that stance after several omitted producers — and their reps — balked at the exclusion. The org reinstated producers on shows such as “The Office,” “30 Rock,” “Ugly Betty,” “Heroes” and “Two and a Half Men,” despite the cap.
The org’s philosophy to err on the side of caution has led to criticism that the vetting process hasn’t made much of an impact. Production company execs and managers are still in most cases deemed eligible for an Emmy nom, even though, in some cases, their actual day-to-day work on a series is limited.
That concern led to the proposal to bring in the Producers’ Guild; by relying on an independent third party, the Acad may have an easier time standing its ground and reining in the number of producers included in a program’s nomination.
The TV academy declined to comment on the proposal to bring in the PGA, but did say that it’s continuing to address the question of producer eligibility.
“The Academy has been evaluating this important issue as part of a continuing effort to try to find ways to make the system as efficient and fair as possible,” a rep said. “It is on the agenda for Wednesday’s Board of Governors meeting but it is premature to comment further until there is an opportunity for the board to assess the options.”
(Brian Lowry contributed to this report.)