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How the Emmys Dumped ‘Primetime’ to Focus on Genre, As We Move Closer to a Post-Linear Era

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Michael Schneider Variety Editor at LargeMost notably, the org behind the Primetime Emmys, the Television Academy here on the West Coast, has tweaked the language in its eligibility rules to take out specific time frames.

Previously, programs and individual achievements within them were “eligible for nomination if they were originally aired (6:00 p.m.-2:00 a.m.) during the current eligibility year.” This year, however, the qualifying rule stipulates that any programs and individual achievements within them “identify as Primetime program by virtue of genre and [if they] were originally presented during the current eligibility year.”It’s a subtle, but monumental difference as we head into a post-linear era.

For those of us who grew up obsessed with TV schedules, it’s a bit of a tough adjustment. I was that kid who studied every issue of TV Guide magazine, noting when and how programs were scheduled.

I memorized every network’s lineup (both in primetime and daytime!) and took note of every strategic time slot change as they happened.TV Guide’s fall TV preview issue was the playbook for the year — the sacred text that I pored over, learning the granular details of how every show would be launched, what it would compete against and what was waiting in the wings to take over.

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