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Emmys: ‘Series of Unfortunate Events’ Ruled a Comedy; ‘Z: The Beginning of Everything’ a Drama

Variety logo Variety 3/14/2017 Debra Birnbaum
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Z: The Beginning of Everything,” which recounts the early days of Zelda Fitzgerald, may only take 30 minutes to tell its story, but it can compete in the upcoming Emmy Awards as a drama.

And “A Series of Unfortunate Events,” which unspools hilariously over the course of an hour, can compete in the awards show alongside other comedies.

The Television Academy announced these new rulings on Monday for Amazon’s half-hour long “Z: The Beginning of Everything” and Netflix’s one-hour “A Series of Unfortunate Events.”

Under new rules instituted in 2015 by the Television Academy, half-hour series are considered comedies and hour-longs are considered dramas. Producers must petition the Academy to be considered in an alternative category.

A two-thirds vote from a nine-member panel, which includes five industry leaders appointed by the Academy Chairman and four appointees by the Board of Governors, is required to reach each category change decision.

Nominations for the 69th Primetime Emmy Awards will be announced live on Thursday, July 13.  The awards will be held Sept. 17 on CBS, hosted by Stephen Colbert, host of “The Late Show With Stephen Colbert.”

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