The TV Academy is making a change to the Emmy ballots, and it’s one that seems like it will either have a significant impact or no impact at all.
Variety reports that starting this year the order of entrants for each category on the ballot will be randomized in how they are listed alphabetically. What this means is that when someone goes to vote in one category the list may be presented from A-to-Z, and when they click over to another category to vote the list may be presented in order from Z-to-A.
While it’s an odd and seemingly minor change to make, it is something that came up as a possible issue after last year’s Emmys, when a handful of snubs happened to have names in the last half of the alphabet.
It could definitely be possible that the entrants being presented in alphabetical order has had more of a noticeable impact in the last few years. As more and more scripted TV shows are being produced each year, and with the quality of television improving vastly as well, the list of possible nominees keeps growing and growing. This in turn means sifting through a long list of names when it comes to vote for Emmy nominees, and the argument being made is that people don’t bother to scroll down to the bottom of the list. Instead, they may be more likely to pick the first names they see and move on.
Even though the TV Academy did end up making this subtle change, the CEO and chairman of the TV Academy, Bruce Rosenblum, doesn’t sound like he is convinced it will have that much of an effect. “I’m not sure the programs that had a T, U, V, W in their first word were disadvantaged from those that had an A, B, C in their first word. Whether or not that’s true is unclear, but it was a concern, and we addressed it.”
This year’s 68th Primetime Emmy Awards hosted by Jimmy Kimmel will air on ABC on Sunday, September 18th. Nominees will be announced on Thursday, July 14th.