Emmy Voters Face a Daunting Amount of TV to Watch

It’s a broader playing field this year for the final round of Emmy voting. While voluntary blue-ribbon panels chose the winners in the past, the entire peer group membership for any given category will decide the honorees this year. (All writers vote in writing categories, all editors on editing, etc.)

With that great power comes great responsibility: actually watching the submitted work. It’s a particularly daunting prospect for actors, who are eligible to vote in 16 performer races and two stunt coordinator categories, plus the 15 program races (from comedy series to unstructured reality program) that are open to votes from the entire Acad membership.

That’s 33 categories (the Oscars have a total of only 24) featuring more than 150 submitted works. Although viewing is essentially on the honor system, every vote requires “signing” an electronic affidavit attesting that the voter has seen at least one submitted episode for each nominee in the category.

That’s a lot of TV. For example, watching all submitted work in the lead actress in a limited series or movie category would take 33½ hours, though the single-episode allowance cuts that number to a mere eight. Thesps could get by with 17 hours of required viewing to vote in all five limited series categories — if they’re strategic about which episodes to watch. (Anyone who wants to vote for telepic, too, will be pushing 24 screen hours.)

Add to that 29 hours of required viewing to vote in seven drama categories, and more than 20 to vote in seven comedy races. That’s without even getting to variety sketch series, children’s program or the reality showdowns.

All voting this year is electronic, and ATAS’ viewing site, where all submitted episodes are available, goes live Aug. 10. So get ready to binge.

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