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A few seconds of screen time cost 'Veep' actor Peter MacNicol an Emmy nomination

A few seconds of screen time cost 'Veep' actor Peter MacNicol an Emmy nomination
"Veep" actor Peter MacNicol has been disqualified from the Emmy guest actor category for appearing in too many episodes. (HBO)

A few seconds of screen time cost actor Peter MacNicol an Emmy nomination.

The "Veep" ensemble member, nominated last week for an Emmy for guest actor in a comedy, has been ruled ineligible by the Television Academy and will be replaced in the category.

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The academy changed the qualifications for the guest acting categories last year, stipulating that performers must appear in less than 50% of a series' episodes.

When HBO submitted MacNicol in May, multiple sources say that the network believed he would appear in four of the Emmy-winning comedy's 10 episodes.

But MacNicol was briefly seen in this season's ninth episode, "Kissing Your Sister," a self-contained half-hour that took its title and form from a documentary shot by Selina Meyer's (Julia Louis-Dreyfus) daughter, Catherine (Sarah Sutherland), which marked his fifth appearance in the season.

"Upon review of the guest actor in a comedy series category, the Television Academy has determined that Peter MacNicol unfortunately exceeds the number of episodes permissible for inclusion in that category," the academy said in a statement.

"HBO's guest actor entry for Peter MacNicol was accurate at the time of the submission deadline, but he was subsequently included in an additional 'Veep' episode. Unfortunately, that additional appearance places him in 50% of the season's episodes and makes him no longer eligible to compete in the guest actor category. This decision is in no way a diminishment of Mr. MacNicol's stellar performance on this season of 'Veep.' "

The Television Academy will likely announce a replacement nominee for the guest actor category — it will be the actor with the most votes not nominated — on Thursday.

Multiple sources called MacNicol's submission an "honest mistake," one that could have been easily avoided if he had been simply left out of that documentary episode. MacNicol, playing Jonah's (Timothy Simons) uncle, a browbeating political power broker, provided many of the highlights of "Veep's" fifth season.

MacNicol's disqualification was unfortunate, but not unprecedented. Henry Winkler lost an Emmy nom on a technicality in 2000 when it was discovered that his guest spot on the NBC police comedy "Battery Park" had aired after the eligibility deadline of May 31.

Jason Sudeikis was deemed ineligible for consideration earlier this year for his work on Fox's comedy "The Last Man on Earth" after it was discovered he had appeared in more than half of the show's 18 episodes. Sudeikis' name was removed from the ballot.

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