‘Orange Is the New Black’ Ruled Ineligible for Comedy Emmy, Will Compete as a Drama

Well, that’s the last time I make an assumption about a show’s Emmy chances. The Television Academy announced its new rules for the Emmy Awards, judging that any hour-long show that would want to compete for the Outstanding Comedy Series Emmy would have to go through an arbitration process in which the show would have to make its case for why it belonged in that category. Earlier this week, we learned that Shameless, Jane the Virgin and Glee were the first hour-longs to qualify for this year’s Comedy Series Emmy.

Now, I assumed that because those three got in, Orange Is the New Black would be a given, since it was the only hour-long show to actually earn an Outstanding Comedy Series Emmy nomination last year. But the ruling from the Industry Panel has come in, and it turns out Netflix’s top comedy isn’t going to be competing as a comedy at all. Instead, the show will compete as a Drama this year, which hinders its chances of being nominated when you consider just how crowded the drama field is (between stalwarts like House of Cards and Downton Abbey, and threats from newcomers such as Empire and The Affair).

“ATAS has notified us that the Industry Panel has advised that Season Two of Orange Is the New Black is eligible for the 2015 Primetime Emmy competition as a Drama Series,” Netflix revealed in a statement. However, while the show has been relegated to the more competitive Drama Series categories, Netflix still has plenty of time to campaign to up its chances against the steep field of dramas, since the 67th Primetime Emmy Awards won’t be revealed until Thursday, July 16. Provided the show is able to score a nomination, they’ll likely have the stars hit the campaign trail, in advance of the 2015 Primetime Emmy Awards on Sunday, September 20 (the show will be hosted by Andy Samberg, so it wouldn’t surprise me if he made a joke or two about all the classification controversy, since these new rules are likely to affect more than just Orange Is the New Black).

Orange is the New Black is a truly pioneering series and an iconoclast which has always defied genre or easy categorization,” added Netflix boss Ted Sarandos. “While we’re disappointed in the committee’s decision, we believe that Orange represents the best of television in either category.”

The members of the panel that made the ruling are anonymous, but what we do know is that the process of arbitration involves the panelists watching “as many episodes of the show in question as needed to make an informed decision, including individually assigned episodes.” In order to determine what defines a comedy series, they had to “evaluate the content of the series as to whether it predominantly takes a comedic or dramatic approach to the material.” I suppose they felt Orange Is the New Black satisfied more of the parameters for a drama than for a comedy.

But do you agree with the ruling? Is Orange Is the New Black more of a comedy or a drama? Sound off in the comments!

'Orange Is the New Black' Ruled Ineligible for Comedy Emmy, Will Compete as a Drama

Credit: Netflix

TV Emmy AwardsNetflixNewsOrange Is the New Black