The Emmys have instituted a new rule that may hurt an anthology series' chances of award recognition in the future, especially if they happen to be Black Mirror. The Emmy for Outstanding TV Movie will now have a minimum length requirement, which should curtail the number of nominations shows the Netflix original and others like it can receive. Going forward, if a standalone television anthology episode wants to be considered, it will need a runtime of at least 75 minutes.
For the record, Black Mirror's latest win in the category for "USS Callister" does meet that requirement with a total runtime of 76 minutes. Conversely, the show's win the prior year for "San Junipero" would no longer qualify under this category due to its runtime of 61 minutes. Under the new rule, Black Mirror has only created 2 episodes in its entire run that exceed the minimal runtime length for Outstanding TV Movie.
The rule change, which was reported by Deadline, is believed to specifically target anthology shows such as Black Mirror and Sherlock. The Benedict Cumberbatch and Martin Freeman led program won the award before Black Mirror's two-peat, meaning the winner of the award has gone to an anthology show three years in a row. With the new restriction in place, it's possible less anthology offerings will appear in the category and more traditional television films will win the category once again.
That's merely a possibility, however, as while "San Junipero" did not meet the new minimal time requirement for the category, the other two winners of the past three years did. Regardless, the new rule may encourage Netflix to pressure Black Mirror into longer episodes, or at least a couple more than its done in the past. Black Mirror hasn't been in the business of consistent episode runtimes lately, however, so it'll be interesting to see if that changes.
The new rule will almost certainly help HBO regain its chokehold back on the category, as this has been the longest stretch of time the network hasn't won the category since 1993. That's especially tough for HBO these past three years, as 7 nominations have all come up short. Every one of those nominations exceeds the new minimum requirement of 75 minutes for Outstanding TV Movie. While anthologies may suffer, traditional TV films may have possibly gained a huge advantage.
CinemaBlend will keep an eye on how Black Mirror responds to this new change, but until then all four seasons of Black Mirror are currently available to stream on Netflix. As 2018 draws to a close, be sure to visit our fall premiere guide and see what's left in the year to watch, or feel free to skip ahead to 2019 and see what's coming up with our midseason premiere guide.
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Mick contains multitudes and balances his time reporting on big happenings in the world of Star Trek, the WWE, reality television, and other sci-fi shows.