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‘The Alienist’ Will Keep 2018 Limited-Series Emmy Nominations Despite Renewal

TNT’s decision to effectively renew “The Alienist” for a second season will not change the drama’s status as a nominee in two limited-series categories for the 2018 Emmys.

“The Awards Committee reviews categorization on an annual basis,” a Television Academy spokesperson told Variety Thursday. “Some first-year limited series continue the story line into subsequent seasons and are re-categorized as Drama Series, e.g., ‘Downton Abbey,’ and others return with a new, stand-alone story, e.g., ‘American Horror Story,’ which allows them to remain in Limited Series. Dependent upon which direction ‘The Alienist’ goes, the Awards Committee will categorize it accordingly.”

The Academy will not, Variety has learned, revisit the show’s categorization for 2018, considering it “locked in.” “The Alienist” is currently nominated for two Primetime Emmys — for best limited series and best cinematography in a limited series or movie. Voting for the Primetime Emmys is currently open and closes Aug. 27. A categorization review for the “Alienist” franchise would likely take place next year.

In recent years, several shows that initially competed in the limited-series or miniseries categories have had their statuses changed after being renewed. “Downton Abbey” won the Emmy for outstanding miniseries or movie in 2011, then shifted into the drama-series category the following year. Similarly, HBO’s “Big Little Lies,” which won for outstanding limited series last year, will compete as a drama series in its second season, slated for 2019.

Other shows, notably FX’s “Fargo” and “American Horror Story,” have continued to compete in limited series categories even after being renewed. Those series are anthologies that feature new characters and storylines each season, and have thus been deemed eligible by the academy to stay in place.

TNT on Thursday ordered what it billed as a new limited series, “The Angel of Darkness,” that would serve as a sequel to “The Alienist” and feature the original show’s three main characters — with stars Daniel Brühl, Luke Evans, and Dakota Fanning.

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