The Television Academy has unveiled a slew of rules changes for the 2020 Emmy Awards including adjustments for 'hanging episodes', erations to kids voting and extra assessments for self-published series.
The Board of Governors has approved more than a dozen changes to the rules.
Hanging episodes, those episodes currently outside the current year's eligibility, will now be eligible if they are broadcast or posted on a member-accessible platform, including the network's streaming platform of Television Academy's own platform in their final form by May 31, 2020. In recent years, series including Hulu's The Handmaid's Tale, won even though the majority of episodes aired in 2018.
However, this does not apply to the limited series category, where all episodes of the show must be broadcast, streamed or aired on the Television Academy's own platform by May 31, 2020 to qualify. If the limited series has episodes that air after this date, the whole series must enter the next year.
As previously announced, the Academy is eliminating DVD screeners for the 2020 Emmys in order to save “millions” of dollars and eliminate waste.
Elsewhere, all self-published programming, including short-form, will be vetted to determine if the show is “suitably competitive” to be nominated. In the kids' categories, only experts in the genre, the Daytime and Animation Peer Group voting members, will be allowed to vote.
There is a limit on actors playing the same character in more than one series.
The Informational Series or Special category, which was won by Anthony Bourdain: Parts Unknown in 2019, has been retitled the Hosted Nonfiction Series or Special category to give focus to personality-driven documentaries and travelogues.
Programs first broadcast during primetime hours that are an extension of or a special produced from a daytime series are now only eligible in the Daytime Emmy competition.
There are also revised category descriptions for Outstanding Structured Reality and Outstanding Unstructured Reality Programs, streamlined Interactive Programming categories, Makeup and Hairstyling categories, and Sound Mixing and Technical Direction categories as well as restructured entry fees.
Finally, after nearly 40 years at Television Academy and oversight of 39 Emmy Awards, Senior Vice President of Awards John Leverence will retire at the end of the year. He will continue to serve as an awards consultant for the 2020 Emmy Awards season, while the Awards department has also merged with the Membership department, led by veteran Television Academy staffer, Julie Shore.
The Academy of Motion Picture Arts & Sciences is going virtual , at least that seems to be the message in an email sent to the entire AMPAS membership Friday night from President David Rubin and CEO Dawn Hudson.
Photo by Erik Pendzich/Shutterstock
The measures have actually been taking place since Wednesday, including all scheduled screenings for membership in New York which had been cancelled until further notice. The same was not necessary for Los Angeles which was not set to resume regular screenings for members until April. As just about every other studio, agency, production company – you name it – AMPAS is emphasizing they are following guidelines set forth by the Centers for Disease Control CDC and World Health Organization WHO and asking staffers to try and work from home and are encouraging all members to avoid visiting any AMPAS facility including NY, London , and buildings in Los Angeles that would include Hollywood and Beverly Hills. All in person meetings have now moved to conference calls or Zoom video conference according to the Academy message to membership. Also , as is the case elsewhere, all non-essential travel, tours, public screenings and events have been cancelled for at least the rest of March. For various committee meetings, the AMPAS branch says liaisons will be in touch to set up virtual meeting dates for the time being.
Several members of Academy leadership , staff , and Board of Governors recently returned from France where AMPAS hosted some activities including Oscar Animation Day at Xilam Paris moderated by Board member and recent How To Train Your Dragon: The Hidden World Oscar nominated producer Bonnie Arnold. That happened on March 2nd , but with all the restrictions imposed since about gatherings of over 100 people in that country it looks like they just got it in just under the wire. And in retrospect it also looks like making the recent 92nd Academy Awards the earliest ever on Sunday February 9th just a month ago, but it seems like a lot longer was a fortunate move considering all the cancellations since then.
Meanwhile the Television Academy has been sending members of which I am one , and formerly a Board member updates on how the emerging FYC season of panels and events is going to proceed. As announced this week they have not minced words about plans for the entire nominating season and have changed the format of ALL FYC events to exclude any in person audience participation or attendance , but instead will be making panels available only via streaming and other forms of delivery through the end date of campaign season on...
Keeping true to its word, Disney+ has updated The Simpsons fans on how soon to expect episodes of the classic animated series be made available in its original aspect ratio. The fledgling streaming service had promised a fix by 2020, and according to a latest tweet, fans should be good to go by the end of May.
We appreciate our fans’ patience and are working to make the first 19 Seasons and part of 20 of #TheSimpsons available in 4:3 versions on #DisneyPlus. We expect to accomplish this by the end of May.
— Disney+ @disneyplus April 2, 2020
When Disney+ launched in November, Simpsons fans were quick to notice that older episodes looked noticeably off. Like most television series before the advent of flatscreen TVs, the show originally aired in a 4:3 ratio. To avoid showing black bars on each side of the picture, Disney+ used versions of the show that were cropped into 16:9 format, which cut off visual gags and led to characters looking stretched and distorted in certain scenes as shown below:
Not only are the classic Simpsons episodes on Disney+ awkwardly cropped, but they're stretched in a lot of places too. Bart's head looks 4 inches wider here: pic.twitter.com/fCpmTPasGj
— Tristan Cooper @TristanACooper November 12, 2019
In Disney+’s defense, the cropping issue also occurred when FXX started airing The Simpsons marathons, and it’s believed the streaming service simply imported those versions after acquiring Fox. However, Disney was quick to respond to fan reactions, and within days of launch, it promised to offer viewers a choice of aspect ratios in a statement to The LA Times:
“We presented ‘The Simpsons’ in 16:9 aspect ratio at launch in order to guarantee visual quality and consistency across all 30 seasons. … Over time, Disney+ will roll out new features and additional viewing options. As part of this, in early 2020, Disney+ will make the first 19 seasons and some episodes from Season 20 of ‘The Simpsons’ available in their original 4:3 aspect ratio, giving subscribers a choice of how they prefer to view the popular series.”
While May pushes the limit of “early 2020,” it’s understandable that Disney has had its hands full, as the pandemic has forced the company to scuttle release dates for major blockbusters like Black Widow and Mulan while halting production on a variety of upcoming projects headed for theaters and Disney+.