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Golden Globes Revise Rules on Miniseries, Animation

The Hollywood Foreign Press Assn. has revised Golden Globes rules that will impact the races for TV series/miniseries, animated features and foreign-language films.

The most radical shift is with TV. The miniseries category — now called limited series — will be defined based on story and content, not on length or number of episodes. Any show whose characters and storyline are confined to one season will be considered a limited series. In other words, HBO’s “True Detective” would be a limited series, not a drama series (as is its definition with Emmy this year).

So it doesn’t matter if a show runs for eight, 13 or 22 episodes. Content is king, at least for the HFPA’s definitions.

The other alterations involve clarifying existing Golden Globes rules.

Starting with the films of 2014, any animated movie that’s not English-language will compete in the toon race. Last year, there were some raised eyebrows when Hayao Miyazaki’s “The Wind Rises” was a nominee in the foreign-language category, but not animated. Under the old rules, a foreign-language factor KO’d a film from competing in the animation race.

Also, the org has defined an animated film as one in which characters’ movements are created with a frame-by-frame technique. This means animation done via cels or computers — but not motion-capture. In addition, 75% of the lead character’s movements must be animated, which affects such live-action/animation hybrids as the “Chipmunks” and “Smurfs” movies, for example.

The animation rule is the only thing that affects the foreign-language category. The organization continues its rules on overseas entries: The film has to open within the past 14 months in its country of origin, and the HFPA does not put a cap on the number of films entered from any country.

The HFPA has been handing out awards for decades — this will be the 72nd edition — but they don’t overhaul the rules often. These moves reflect the changing nature of the industry, such as the expanding TV landscape. In the past, the Globes have been adventurous in their choices of TV nominations (“The X-Files,” “Buffy the Vampire Slayer”), so it will be interesting to see if their policies also prove influential .

When it comes to TV voting, HFPA president Theo Kingma says the streaming device has proven invaluable for Globe voters in the past year. After negotiating with folks in the TV business, the org a year ago began to enable streaming of eligible TV shows for voters.

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