'Big Little Lies' Sequel Announcement Sparks Outrage About Its Awards Categorization

Competitors are fuming that HBO waited until after the Critics' Choice and Golden Globes nomination voting periods had ended to share the news that it wasn't, in fact, a limited series. The PGA responded by moving the show into the episodic drama category and restarting the voting.
Hilary Bronwyn Gayle/HBO
'Big Little Lies'

Is the categorization of Big Little Lies as a limited series a, well, big little lie?

On Friday, HBO announced that it would be bringing back the hit show — which won eight Emmys in September, all in limited-series or movie categories, including best limited series — for a second seven-episode season that will feature the same characters, played by the same actors, with a continuing storyline. In other words, it wasn't a limited series, after all.

The Hollywood Reporter can report that competitors are fuming, particularly in light of the fact that HBO waited to announce this news — perhaps not coincidentally — until after voting had closed for the Critics' Choice Awards noms (Big Little Lies landed five, including best limited series) and Golden Globe Awards noms (voting ended Thursday, and noms will be announced Dec. 11, with Big Little Lies expected to register across the miniseries categories) and just before voting for SAG Awards noms closes (Dec. 10).

If voters had known that Big Little Lies wasn't, in fact, a limited series, but rather a regular series, would they still have voted for it? We'll never know. But that's a question that may well nag the backers of whichever limited series didn't land a best limited series Critics' Choice nom and don't land Golden Globe or SAG noms in their corresponding categories.

On Friday night, the Producers Guild of America responded to the controversy with a letter to members clarifying the matter, saying it would "re-set the voting" for its television nomination ballot. Given the announcement of a second season of Big Little Lies, the PGA decided it was more "equitable" to place the show in the episodic drama category "for which it now is qualified" and "re-start the voting afresh."

The full letter to PGA members is below.

Dear PGA member:

New information has come to light today that compels us to re-set the voting for the television nomination ballot.

At the time of the release of the ballots, HBO's series Big Little Lies qualified for the Guild's Long-Form Programs category. However, with today's announcement that HBO has ordered a second season of the series with the main characters continuing into the second season, the series no longer qualifies within that category. In accordance with our rules, we have determined that the most equitable course of action is to adjust the ballots – placing Big Little Lies in the Episodic Drama category for which it now is qualified – and re-start the voting afresh.

We apologize for the inconvenience for those of you who have already cast your ballots. Please take a moment to re-cast your votes as all ballots submitted to date for television for the 2018 Producers Guild Awards have been voided.

The original voting information and your new ballot link are listed below.

Sincerely,

PGA Awards Administrator