Emmy Panel Rules ‘Orange Is the New Black’ to Compete in the Drama Categories

10:45 PM EDT 3/21/2015 by Kara Michelle, Celebeat Reporter

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A panel of Academy of Television Arts and Sciences members ruled Netflix's Orange is the New Black is a drama, and thus will only be eligible for drama nominations. Ted Sarandos, Netflix Chief Content Officer, in a statement to the media wrote: "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. Orange is the New Black is a truly pioneering series and an iconoclast which has always defied genre or easy categorization. While we're disappointed in the committee's decision, we believe that Orange represents the best of television in either category."

Just days ago, Fox's Glee, Showtime's Shameless, and The CW's Jane The Virgin, all three despite also being hour-long shows, can compete as comedies at this year's Emmy Awards, according to the first decision made by the newly formed Television Academy Industry Panel.

Last month, under the TV Academy's new rules, a comedy would be defined as a series with episodes of 30 minutes or less while drama would be defined as those with episodes an hour long. A nine-member panel was also established to evaluate category eligibility. Five members were appointed by the academy chairman and four members by the Board of Governors. A two-thirds vote of the panel was required to reach a decision.

According to The Hollywood Reporter, Glee, Shameless, and Jane the Virgin all met the nine-member panel's two-thirds vote needed to be "lumped in with comedies and not dramas." Academy chairman and CEO Bruce Rosenblum told The Hollywood Reporter in February: "These are not hard-and-fast rules. This has been a gray area in our rules for quite a while."

Glee and Shameless have both competed as comedies before. Glee has competed in various comedy categories every year since 2010. However, until just last year, Shameless was nominated in the drama acting categories. This will be the first year that Jane the Virgin will be competing for awards and showrunner Jennie Snyder Urman said: "This show was always conceived as a comedy; pitched to the network and studio as a comedy; and marketed to viewers as a comedy. We are thrilled with the television academy's decision."

Orange Is the New Black competed last year as a comedy but it lost out as Best Comedy Series to five-time winner Modern Family. However, it won the awards for Outstanding Guest Actress in a Comedy Series (Uzo Aduba), Outstanding Casting in a Comedy Series and Outstanding Single-Camera Picture Editing for a Comedy Series.

The announcement of nominations for the 2015 Emmy Awards is set for July 16. The 67th Annual Primetime Emmy Awards ceremony, which will be honoring the best in US prime time TV programming that aired from June 1, 2014, until May 31, 2015, as chosen by the Television Academy, will be held on September 20 at the Nokia Theatre in Downtown Los Angeles, California, and will be broadcast live by Fox. It will be hosted by Andy Samberg, 36, best known for starring in the hit Brooklyn Nine-Nine sitcom TV series and for his long history as a Saturday Night Live regular.

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