The Academy of Television Arts & Sciences has expanded the number of nominees for its top primetime awards
The ATAS board of governors voted to up the nominees from five to six in outstanding comedy and drama series programs, outstanding lead actor and actress in a comedy and drama, and outstanding supporting actor and actress in a comedy and drama.
"The increase in the number of nominees in these categories is a strong statement about inclusivity," Television Academy chairman and CEO John Shaffner said in announcing the change. "It exemplifies the Television Academy's awareness of the amount of great television and fine individual work that is seen across the enormous spectrum of the television universe."
Basic cable has been increasingly represented in those top categories, exemplified by AMC's retro advertising series Mad Men becoming the first from the medium to capture the best drama statue.
ATAS also cited the number of ties in the past several years that resulted in six nominees in a number of categories
The academy has also simplified the voting process for those top categorties by reducing it from a three-step to a two-step voting procedure.