Emmys: 'Orange Is the New Black' to Compete as Drama — Despite Comedy Pitch

Netflix wanted the series in the comedy race, but a nine-member panel deemed it a drama — unlike hourlongs 'Jane the Virgin' and 'Shameless.'
Courtesy of Netflix
'Orange Is the New Black'

The TV Academy apparently doesn't find Orange Is the New Black very funny.

The big question mark after this year's Emmy rules change was if the Netflix series would still compete as a comedy. A nine-member panel that voted on the series decided the hourlong show will not, despite Netflix's wishes, and will now face most other hourlongs in the drama race.

Read more Emmy Comedy Clarification: TV Academy Says Rule Changes "Just a Start"

"Orange Is the New Black is a truly pioneering series and an iconoclast [that] has always defied genre or easy categorization," said Netflix chief content officer Ted Sarandos. "While we're disappointed in the committee's decision, we believe that Orange represents the best of television in either category."

News of Orange's shift to drama comes just days after the TV Academy determined three series (Shameless, Jane the Virgin and Glee) could compete as comedies despite their hourlong status.

It's a blow for Orange and Netflix, for sure. Not only does it pit the series against other Netflix golden goose House of Cards, but the drama field is infinitely more crowded with strong cable shows and powerful broadcast freshmen.

One possible winner in this scenario is Netflix debut Unbreakable Kimmy Schmidt. The Ellie Kemper-starring comedy is now poised to be the streaming service's big push in the category.

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