New Emmy Rule Shuts Out Shorter TV Movies

The ruling means made-for-television films have to have a minimum running time of 75 minutes.
David Dettmann/Netflix
'Black Mirror' episode "San Junipero"

The TV Academy voted on new Emmy rules on Thursday night — and while there are more than a few, the big one redefines a TV movie as having a minimum running time of 75 minutes.

It doesn't seem like a big deal, considering 75 minutes is short by most movie standards, but it will keep out the one-off episodes of some anthologies from being in the running.

The 2017 winner of the outstanding television movie category, Black Mirror's "San Junipero," is technically the only recent Emmy telepic victor that would have suffered from this rule, but it will knock out some episodes of that franchise. Black Mirror also won in 2018, but "USS Callister" ran at 76 minutes.

Looking at the future TV calendar, this rule will affect shorter episodes of Black Mirror and, presumably, Jordan Peele's upcoming Twilight Zone reboot.  

Other changes announced by the TV Academy include the addition of a new category: outstanding music composition for a documentary series or special. The organization has also restructured the choreography categories with two separate juried awards: outstanding choreography for variety and reality programming and outstanding choreography for scripted programming. 

Next year's 71st Emmy Awards ceremony is set to be broadcast Sunday, Sept. 22, on Fox.