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When it was announced a few weeks ago that HBO’s hit series True Detective would be competing in the Best Drama category rather than the expected Best Miniseries category, television fans braced themselves for the bitter battle between Breaking Bad‘s final season (which was thought to be a nearly sure thing to take home a plethora of awards) and Detective.
The category switch also left many scratching their heads, as Detective was believed to be a lock to sweep the Miniseries category. Moreover, Detective‘s set-up as a series that tells a close ended story each year and replaces its cast completely after every season seemed to lend itself perfectly to the Miniseries category, much like FX’s American Horror Story and its upcoming drama Fargo.
And speaking of FX, the channel’s CEO John Landgraf has officially gone on record stating that this category choice by HBO was “unfair.”
“To tell you the truth, I think it’s actually unfair for HBO to put ‘True Detective’ in the drama series category because essentially you can get certain actors to do a closed-ended series, a la Billy Bob Thornton in ‘Fargo’ or Matthew McConaughey and Woody Harrelson in ‘True Detective,’ who you can’t get to sign on for a seven-year deal,” said Landgraf at FX’s spring upfront press event.
Landgraf did acknowledge that the Emmy rules are ambiguous in terms of determining categories for series (case in point: Showtimes’s Shameless has announced it will compete in the Best Comedy category after four years in the Best Drama category, despite just finishing its most dramatic season to date). But Landgraf stated he worries that allowing one and done seasons of shows to compete in the Drama category will eventually lead to serial dramas like Mad Men and FX’s The Americans being shut out from consideration.