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Fresh Meat for 30 Rock: Emmys Expand Nominations

Tina Fey, Alec Baldwin ABC/ADAM LARKEY

In the interest of inclusivity, Emmy organizers have announced plans to expand the top 10 categories, upping the nominees from five to six.

Which means, come next September, one more actor will have the honor to lose out to Tina Fey, Alec Baldwin and their competition-decimating 30 Rock crew.

There will now be a half-dozen contenders for Outstanding Comedy and Drama Series, as well as lead and supporting actors and actresses in both comedy and drama series. In years past, the only time races would have six nominees would be in the event of ties during the nomination process.

The move, announced today by the Academy of Television Arts & Sciences, is designed to inject some much-needed new blood into the rerun-prone annual proceedings, but sadly comes too late to help the snubbed ghosts of TV past. (We're looking at you, Gilmore Girls, Buffy and The Wire.)

"The increase in the number of nominees in these categories is a strong statement about inclusivity," says TV Academy chairman John Shaffner. "It exemplifies the Television Academy's awareness of the amount of great television and fine individual work that is seen across the enormous spectrum of the television universe."

Another announced change is the way in which ballots are cast for the series and performance categories, with the TV Academy choosing to discontinue its "two-phase" nominating process.

While in the past, the leak-heavy process entailed nominees being whittled down first by member voting and then by a "blue ribbon" panel, the nominating process will now been divided into drama and comedy series voting and performance voting.

Henceforth, series nominations will be determined by a TV Academy-wide membership vote, while the acting categories will be voted on only by actor members, mirroring the proceedings—and thus possibly winners—for the SAG Awards.

The new changes, which per the Academy are intended to accommodate the new "Golden Age of Television," will be in effect for next year's Emmys.

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