In the midst of much discussion and some controversy over whether True Detective should really be up for a Best Drama Emmy despite being an eight-episode mini-series, the Hollywood Foreign Press Association announced new category definitions for the Golden Globes today. Under new rules, the acclaimed HBO crime drama can not be nominated as a drama series.
The biggest change is that the HFPA is getting rid of the mini-series categories and replacing them with “limited series” categories. A limited series does not necessarily mean that the series has a short run, but it must have a story and characters that are confined to only one season or series. Under those rules, True Detective would run as a limited series, while a show like BBC’s Sherlock (that airs three 90-minute episodes each year) could be up for Best Drama.
Some of these changes likely arrived due to industry pressure. When HBO made the controversial move to enter True Detective as a drama series for the Emmys, other networks faced the blowback when several shows and actors that were vying for the top honors had to face another strong competitor. Michael Sheen, Matthew Rhys and Liev Schreiber were all touted for a Best Actor in a Drama Series nomination, but were left off to make room for Matthew McConaughey and Woody Harrelson.
The HFPA is also updating the animated feature and foreign-language film categories. Starting with the next Golden Globes, to take place on Sunday, January 11, 2015, animated films that are not in English could compete in the cartoon category. (Studio Ghibli’s The Wind Rises was not nominated as an animated film earlier this year, although it did earn a foreign-language berth.) More controversial will be a new definition of what an animated film is, where characters’ movements are created via cells or computers. This should ignite some furor among motion-capture animators.
As for the foreign-language category, animated films are now barred from a nomination there. As for which overseas titles can apply, it has to have opened within the past 14 months in its country of origin. Unlike the Academy, the HFPA will allow countries to submit more than one film, and there is no cap.