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TV Academy Changes Voting Procedures in Lead Actor, Series Categories

Feb 22, 2006  •  Post A Comment

The Academy of Television Arts & Sciences is changing the way outstanding series and lead actors in series nominees are chosen for the prime-time Emmy awards, with a blue ribbon panel being added between initial nominations and selection of the final five nominees. In addition, directors and casting executives will now be eligible to vote in acting categories.

Starting this year the top 10 vote getters in best comedy and drama series categories will be submitted to a blue ribbon panel that will determine the final five nominees in each category. For lead actor and actress categories, the top 15 vote getters will be submitted to panels that will determine the final five nominees.

The blue ribbon panels will be made up of about 25 members who will view the episodes submitted for consideration before selecting the five final nominees. The panel system is actually an expansion of a system already in place for the guest performance and variety music performance categories, according to John Leverence, the academy’s senior VP for awards.

About 500 directors and about 200 casting executives will now be allowed to join the approximately 1,400 actors who vote in the performer categories, from the initial nominating ballot to the blue ribbon committees to the final voting for the eventual winner. The change, which marks a departure from ATAS’ traditional peer-only voting structure, came about after a request from performers themselves, Mr. Leverence said.

“They felt these two groups were uniquely capable of making these evaluations,” he said.

Initial ballots for the Primetime Emmy Awards will be available to members on the Internet in June, with the winners being announced in a live ceremony televised on NBC Sunday, Aug. 27.