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'Orange Is the New Black' must compete as drama at Emmys

'Orange Is the New Black' will have to compete as a drama at this year's Emmy awards

"Orange Is the New Black" will have to compete as a drama at the Primetime Emmys this year. The Academy of Television Arts and Sciences Industry Panel has ruled that the Netflix prison series was not eligible to compete as a comedy, even though the series was nominated as a comedy at the Emmys last year.

This is the first year the new rule for the Emmys has taken effect, which states that comedies must be a half-hour in length and dramas must be hour-longs. Any producers wishing to have their hour-long series compete as a comedy must petition the panel.

Earlier this week, the panel ruled that three-hour-long series "Jane the Virgin," "Shameless" and "Glee" could all compete as comedies this year. But "Orange" was deemed ineligible.

"'Orange Is the New Black' is a truly pioneering series and an iconoclast which has always defied genre or easy categorization," Netflix Chief Content Officer Ted Sarandos said in a statement. "While we're disappointed in the committee's decision, we believe that 'Orange' represents the best of television in either category."

Last year, the series received 12 nominations when it competed as a comedy series, including one for best comedy series. It won three, including one for guest actress for Uzo Aduba, who plays "Crazy Eyes."

The nine-person panel consists of five TV industry professionals appointed by the ATAS chairman and four elected by the academy's Board of Governors. A two-thirds majority is required to pass all decisions.

Follow me on Twitter: @patrickkevinday

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