In a sign of how the Internet has emerged as a major new entertainment platform, the Directors Guild of America is including online programs in its existing awards categories.
The guild said its national board decided to include programs created for the Internet in eight categories. The union cited "recognition of the increasing level of original programming being created by our directors and their teams specifically for Internet distribution."
The action is the latest effort by Hollywood's unions to adapt to the changing world of new media.
"Whether you're watching content on a TV screen, online on a laptop, or with a hand-held device, outstanding writing and great storytelling deserve the same recognition," said WGAW President Christopher Keyser and WGAE President Michael Winship in a statement. "These changes in eligibility and submission guidelines reflect the evolution of distribution models in the entertainment industry."
The DGA's new Internet categories are: dramatic series; comedy series; movies for television and mini-series; variety/talk/news/sports; documentary; reality; and children’s programming. The DGA's commercial award category has included commercials specifically made for the Internet since 2007 and will continue to do so.
All programs created for the Internet must be covered under a DGA agreement and be directed by a DGA director. Programs, except those for commercials, must be at least a half-hour in length.
The DGA will hold the 66th Annual DGA Awards on Jan. 25 at the Hyatt Regency Century Plaza.