Emmys gives big middle finger to anthology series


The Emmys created a new rule that will hurt shows like Black Mirror and other anthology series in the future.

The Emmy Award for Outstanding TV Movie will now be required to have a certain length to qualify for the award. Deadline reports that the length will now be at least 75 minutes.

Black Mirror has won in the category before — and the episode that won would still qualify as USS Callister hit 76 minutes in its running time. However, the best episode of the Netflix anthology series only hit 61 minutes with San Junipero.

According to Deadline, the main reason that the Emmys created this new rule was to eliminate most of the efforts from anthology shows like Black Mirror and Sherlock.

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For the last three years, those are the two shows that won the award.

USS Callister and San Junipero won the past two Emmy for Outstanding TV Movie. San Junipero checked in at 61 minutes in length.

In 2016, Sherlock: The Abominable Bride won the award. While they claim that the award will hurt these shows, that episode was 93 minutes — so it would be eligible as well.

With that in mind, only two of those three winners would not be eligible, so one wonders why they claim the change is meant to hurt those shows.

What the site mentions is that the Emmys want fewer anthology movies in the award contention and more “real” television movies instead. However, what might occur instead is for Netflix to pressure Black Mirror to make all their episodes longer.

This is a dangerous precedent since an episode should only be long enough to tell its story and the new Emmy rules might force creators to add bloat to their efforts.

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Who this does help is HBO.

In 2018, HBO had three of the contenders (Fahrenheit 451, Paterno, The Tale), in 2017 there were two (The Immortal Life of Henrietta LacksThe Wizard of Lies) and in 2016 there were two (All the Way, Confirmation).

Before that, HBO won the award in 11 out of 12 years, only losing to Downton Abbey in 2011.