Cable Categories Spared Emmy Telecast Ax

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This year's Emmy Awards broadcast may be speedier for viewers, but it won't be at the expense of televised cable-heavy categories.

Executives at the Academy of Television Arts & Sciences have decided to tighten up the broadcast, scheduled for Sept. 18, by requiring nominees in all writing and directing categories and some other categories, such as made-for-television movie and miniseries, to pretape their acceptance speeches.

ATAS had mulled the possibility of moving the movie and miniseries categories to the nontelevised Creative Awards ceremony, which would have been a blow to cable networks, as they often dominate those categories.

But in the face of written opposition from the directors' and writers' unions, the parties agreed to the pretaping scheme. "Nonaward elements," like comedy routines, will be eliminated from the telecast altogether.

ATAS members hope the changes will reverse viewer erosion, which has been experienced by many major award shows, including the Oscars telecast.

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