TV Academy CEO open to expanding series nominees

BruceRAbout two months ago, when I interviewed TV Academy CEO Bruce Rosenblum, he said that the there was “no consideration” from the org for expanding the number of series nominees in any category, particularly in comedy and drama.

Friday, speaking on behalf of the Academy at the Primetime Emmys panel for the Television Critics Assn. press tour, Rosenblum suggested that maybe the time to expand has come.

“I think that’s something we absolutely need to look at,” Rosenblum said. “When you look at the caliber of the six dramas that were nominated – and there’s obviously several other dramas on television which are worthy of being in that category – it’s something that we as a board of governors should take a look at. 

“There is so much great quality television on today, both scripted and non‑scripted, particularly, though, on the scripted side with comedy and dramas, that as you expand the number of original shows on television, as you expand the number of cable channels that are offering original scripted content, our job is to recognize great work. There’s so much great work being done today that whether or not we should expand (the) number of nominees in a category is something that we absolutely should look at.”

In a June Variety article discussing the concept of expanding the drama and comedy categories to 10 series nominees, TV Academy senior awards veep John Leverance also noted that the Academy board had not brought the matter up for discussion. However, the move does have support from within the industry, as evidenced by “The Walking Dead” exec producer Glen Mazaara.

“The downside would be people might think it’s not as elite, it’s not as selective,” Mazzara said at the time. “But a lot of times you have the same shows dominating year after year, and that doesn’t mean that other shows aren’t achieving that same level of excellence.”

Citing “The Wire” and “The Shield,” which were both shut out of the Emmy drama series noms during their entire runs, Mazzara added that “as you look back, you realize those shows certainly achieved a level of excellence the Emmys is designed to reward.”

Series that weren’t nominated for 2012 drama Emmys include “Dexter,” The Good Wife,” “Justified,” “Shameless,” “Sons of Anarchy,” “Southland” and “The Walking Dead.”

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