Panel weighs in on ATAS, NATAS fight


Arbitrators made an interim ruling Monday in regard to the Academy of Television Arts & Sciences' dispute with the National Academy of Television Arts & Sciences over the creation of Emmy Awards that recognize digital content.

In other news, ATAS has pushed back by a week voting on the Primetime Emmy Awards.

Meanwhile, ATAS had requested an injunction against NATAS asking to put a stop to plans for awards or academies in the digital area. The arbitrators ruled that neither Los Angeles-based ATAS nor New York-based NATAS can make any new announcements regarding the formation of either until the arbitration is decided pending a formal hearing in October. In addition, neither academy can form any new academies or issue any new awards not previously announced until the panel weighs the issues at the October hearing and reaches a resolution.

"The television academy and its representatives are delighted with this initial ruling, and we are optimistic that the subsequent ruling in October will also be in our favor," ATAS said.

"We're pleased that the arbitration panel is allowing us to go forward with the new-media awards that we've created over the last two years and to go forward with the new National Academy of Media Arts & Sciences, which we previously announced," a NATAS spokesperson said.

Meanwhile, the schedule for mailing screeners has been moved to the week of Aug. 6 for the Creative Arts Emmy nominees (pushed from the week of July 30), while the schedule for mailing screeners for the awards shown during the televised Emmy ceremony has moved to the week of Aug. 13 (from the week of Aug. 6). The deadlines for voting stay the same: Aug. 24 for the Creative Arts Emmys and Aug. 31 for the televised categories.

The push accommodates a recent change in the Emmy voting rules that now permits at-home judging by blue-ribbon panel members who are voting on comedy and drama series actors and actresses, which led to the Emmy nominations announcement coming a week later this year than usual (July 19). As a result, ATAS wanted to give nominees adequate time to allow them to duplicate and distribute screeners to the thousands of judges who will be voting at home.

The 59th annual Primetime Emmy Awards ceremony, taking place Sept. 16 at the Shrine Auditorium in Los Angeles, airs on Fox. The Creative Arts Emmys will be handed out Sept. 8 at the Shrine.