Today, we look at how the Emmys define “comedy” and/or “drama” for TV shows submitting for awards.
In Pop Culture Questions Answered, I answer whatever questions you folks might have about movies, TV, music or whatever (feel free to e-mail questions to me at email@example.com).
With the success of The Bear (as I noted a while back, this was specifically Season ONE of The Bear) at the 2024 Emmys, winning for Outstanding Comedy Series, Outstanding Lead Actor in a Comedy Series, Outstanding Supporting Actress in a Comedy Series, Outstanding Supporting Actor in a Comedy Series, Outstanding Directing for a Comedy Series and Outstanding Writing for a Comedy Series, people are naturally confused as to how The Bear even qualified as a comedy versus a drama series.
Well, the rules according to The Television Academy are as follows:
COMEDY AND DRAMA SERIES are defined as programs with multiple episodes (minimum of six), where the majority of the running time of at least six episodes are primarily comedic for comedy series entries, or primarily dramatic for dramatic series entries, in which the ongoing theme, storyline and main characters are presented under the same title and have continuity of production supervision. The Academy reserves the right to have the category placement reviewed by the Academy’s Industry Panel.
Back in 2015, The Academy defaulted all half-hour shows to comedies and all hour-long shows to dramas, and allowed the shows to argue whether their placement was accurate or not, and while that MIGHT still be true, it is doesn’t APPEAR to be the rule anymore, at least it isn’t mention in The Academy’s rules. It seems like the shows are able to define themselves now, and The Academy can simply agree or not agree. When your show is about human foibles like The Bear, it’s pretty easy to argue that it is all dark humor, which is basically what they did.
Now, did The Bear take into consideration the easier slate of competitive shows in the comedy category versus Succession in the drama category? Perhaps, but it sounds like it The Academy allows it to choose its category for the most part.
If anyone else has a pop culture question, drop me a line at firstname.lastname@example.org!