Emmy Awards: TV Academy Tweaks Ballot Order to Mitigate Potential Snubs (EXCLUSIVE)

The Television Academy is making a tweak to this year’s Emmy ballots: randomizing how each category is presented alphabetically, Variety has learned.

The voting site will evenly show entries for a given category from A-to-Z or Z-to-A for each log-in. The order will be random, meaning that when a member logs in to vote in a given category, say comedy actor, the list will be presented A-to-Z, but when they select another category, say drama series, the list could be presented Z-to-A.

The move is in response to feedback from last year’s nominations, which saw several high-profile omissions fall in the latter half of the alphabet. The previous year’s best actor in a comedy winner Jim Parsons (“The Big Bang Theory”), for example, failed to even gain an nomination last year, as did frequent drama actress nominee Julianna Margulies (“The Good Wife”).

Last year, the ballot was presented alphabetically, leading some to theorize that its sheer length impacted the eventual nominees. The number of contenders is sure to increase even further this year, given the boom in scripted series.

“From an alphabetical standpoint, some members when they sign on, they will get A to Z, and some will get Z to A,” TV Academy chairman and CEO Bruce Rosenblum told Variety. “That change was made for this year. I’m not sure the programs that had a T, U, V, W  in their first word were disadvantaged from those that had an A, B, C in their first word. Whether or not that’s true is unclear, but it was a concern, and we addressed it.”

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