Emmys: Why Louis C.K.'s 'Horace and Pete' Was Nominated in Both Drama and Comedy Categories

Horace and Petes - H

When Emmy nominations were unveiled this week, Louis C.K.'s Horace and Pete, the critically acclaimed dramedy streaming on LouisCK.net, received two mentions: outstanding guest actress in a drama series (Laurie Metcalf) and outstanding multicamera picture editing for a comedy series (Gina Sansom). Which begs the question: How did a single series secure nominations in both drama and comedy categories?

Over the years, due to ever-changing Television Academy rules and guidelines, the classifications of some shows have transitioned from comedy to drama (e.g. Netflix's Orange Is the New Black) or drama to comedy (e.g. Showtime's Shameless). But never before, as far as I can tell, has a show been nominated in one category as a drama and another category as a comedy in the same year.

When C.K. was a guest on the "Awards Chatter" podcast, he told me in no uncertain terms that he regards Horace and Pete as a drama, not a comedy like his other series, FX's Louie. So my initial assumption was that this year's nominations split was the result of a ballot screw-up that was not discovered until nomination voting was already underway or completed.

But a Television Academy spokesperson tells The Hollywood Reporter that the Horace and Pete category placements were no mistake: "We are committed to honoring quality work. We strive to be as inclusive as possible. In this case there was no picture editing category for multicamera drama. The only category they could enter was the one in which they were nominated. The decision to allow them to enter that category was thoroughly reviewed by the governors of the Picture Editors peer group."

He continued: "With literally hundreds upon hundreds of rules, we are constantly refining to cover as many contingencies as possible. We are thrilled with the nomination slate this year and as always, when this Emmy season is complete, we’ll open the rule book again and consider logical improvements."