Daytime fans are in store for a lot of changes to the Daytime Emmy Awards, and the recent announcement that the 2021 ceremony is once again going to be virtual may be the least of the surprises!
Many soap opera fans have been scratching their heads over the lack of pre-nominations this year, wondering when -- or if -- the traditional pre-noms announcement will come. Unfortunately, according to an official document posted to the National Academy of Television Arts and Sciences website, there will no longer be a pre-nomination round in the Drama categories. Instead, all acting entries "will undergo Preliminary and/or Blue Ribbon Judging in accordance with all other categories," without a second submission being considered.
As the official Daytime Emmys rulebook explains, "The results of a Preliminary Judging Round are merely procedural; they are not publicly announced, and are not considered Nominations, Prenominations, or any other formal recognition."
For those wondering how the "pre-nominations" came to be, the Daytime Emmys instituted the pre-noms phase in 2003 as part of an effort to have a more transparent voting process. Ironically, the phasing out of the pre-nominations is said to be part of NATAS' effort to restore confidence in the Daytime Emmys after controversy arose over eligibility requirements in 2018.
Other changes at the time involved limiting the number of nominees one program could have in any given category.
Another major change that viewers can expect to the Daytime Emmy Awards is for NATAS to gradually change the parameters for entry into the Younger Performer in a Drama Series category. The current eligibility allows for performers in Drama Series who are under the age of 25, but 2021 will be the final year that actors as old as 25 will be eligible to win the category. The age cutoff will be lowered to 21 starting next year, and for 2023, it will be lowered again to 18.
As for Digital Dramas, the category has been renamed Limited Drama Series. Eligibility standards remain the same, except the maximum number of episodes has been lowered from 35 to 22. Presumably, this means that all digital dramas that air over 22 episodes per year will be included in the Drama Series category and will compete with The Bold and the Beautiful, The Young and the Restless, General Hospital, and Days of our Lives.
Meanwhile, fans will see a big change to the Creative Arts Emmy Awards, as well. The Daytime Administration began last year to merge craft areas where Drama contenders did not have enough entrants to keep the categories viable, allowing for entrants from Dramas and Daytime Fiction Programs. This year, many of the remaining craft categories will be merged in the same way, including Costumes, Makeup, Hairstyling, Sound Mixing and Editing, and Technical Team. Music Direction and Composition, which was merged last year, is now further merged to include all Drama, Fiction, and Non-Fiction eligible content.
As Soap Central previously reported, the 48th annual Daytime Emmy nominations are expected to be announced in May or June of 2021, with the virtual ceremony taking place in June or July of 2021. The final, official dates are expected to be announced soon.
"We hope to build on this creative success in making the 2021 virtual gatherings even more inclusive and engaging celebrations of excellence," the organization announced in December. "As for 2022, we've already started booking venues and can't wait to welcome you back in person!"
For a complete list of what's new for the 48th annual Daytime Emmy Awards and beyond, visit the organization's official website.
How do you feel about the Daytime Emmy Awards no longer announcing pre-noms? What are your thoughts on the age requirements for the Younger Performer category changing? We want to hear from you -- so drop your comments in the Comments section below, tweet about it on Twitter, share it on Facebook, or chat about it on our Message Boards.