Although Netflix’s Orange Is The New Black likes to think of itself as a comedy, Variety reports that the TV Academy has determined it is in fact a drama, at least where this year’s Emmys are concerned. This hard stance on an innocent young show’s identity comes after a review of Netflix’s petition over the Academy’s new rules, one of which states that any show over 30 minutes long is ineligible for the Outstanding Comedy Series category. Jane The Virgin, Shameless, and Glee were also less than thrilled with this classification, but where they succeeded in their respective campaigns, Orange Is The New Black has failed.
OITNB was nominated for 12 awards as a comedy at last year’s Emmys, and took home three trophies. With the Academy’s decision though, it’ll have to go up against a crowded field of dramas this year, not the least of which will be Mad Men’s final season. Interestingly, the show was considered a comedy at both this year’s Golden Globes and Screen Actors Guild Awards—where the show won best comedy ensemble and Uzo Aduba won best female actor in a comedy, respectively—but the nine member TV Academy panel that reviews each petition ultimately ruled that it takes a more dramatic than comedic approach to its material. A two-thirds vote of the panel is required to reach a decision one way or the other, and now OITNB will have to compete as a drama along with all of its actors, writers, and directors.
Netflix chief content officer Ted Sarandos was disappointed in the news, saying OITNB “is a truly pioneering series and an iconoclast which has always defied genre or easy categorization,” and regardless of any labels, “we believe that Orange represents the best of television in either category.” While he said this, he was presumably scrambling to get Jenji Kohan and Jason Biggs on a conference call with the hopes of bringing Larry Bloom back for season three after all.