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Daytime Emmys Eliminate ‘Outstanding Younger Performer’ Category, Reveal Other Rules Changes

The Daytime Emmys will no longer include a category devoted to younger performers in a daytime drama. Effective this year, for the 51st Annual Daytime Awards, younger performers will be required to enter lead, supporting or guest categories.

The decision to eliminate the younger performers category was one of several rule changes announced Thursday morning by the National Academy of Television Arts & Sciences. Also eliminated is the category for outstanding promotional announcement. Meanwhile, the categories devoted to outstanding writing for a daytime non-fiction series and outstanding writing for daytime non-fiction special have been merged into a new category: Outstanding writing for a daytime non-fiction program.

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And also, the daytime program host category has been split into two categories: “daytime personality–daily,” and “daytime personality—non-daily.”

“Programming is always changing, and NATAS continues to adapt its competition rules to reflect these shifts in the television landscape,” said NATAS prexy Adam Sharp in a statement. “We’re looking forward to gathering again at the 51st Daytime Emmys to celebrate all the nominees and the entertaining and enlightening programs they create.”

The news comes as NATAS announces the call for entries for the 51st Annual Daytime Emmy Awards, which opens on Thursday (with a deadline on March 7).

NATAS first began recognizing younger performers in daytime dramas in 1985 with the outstanding young man and outstanding ingenue in a drama series categories. Later, the categories were renamed outstanding juvenile male in a drama series and outstanding juvenile female in a drama series, before settling with outstanding younger actor and younger actress in a drama series. The categories always came with a bit of controversy, as at first there was no age limit — and stars in their 20s opted to compete in these categories rather than the traditional daytime drama actor and actress competitions.

With the decline in daytime soaps, NATAS combined the categories in 2020 to be the non-gendered “outstanding younger performer in a drama series.” It was only last years ago that the Daytime Emmys finally lowered the “younger performer” age cutoff to 21, after many years of 25. This past year, the cut off was dropped to 18. Now, all of that is moot — with “General Hospital” star Eden McCoy as the final “younger performer” Emmy winner, having picked up the prize during the 50th Daytime Emmy Awards in December.

Meanwhile, here are a few more Daytime Emmys changes:

• Daytime Program Host Eligibility: “Hosts, Co-Hosts, and Correspondents from Entertainment News and Legal/Courtroom Programs (e.g. the judges and bailiffs) are now eligible within the Daytime Personality – Daily or Daytime Personality – Non-Daily category depending on airing/streaming schedule. They also remain eligible in their respective program categories but cannot win two Emmy statuettes for the same function, e.g. if a program wins outstanding program and the hosts win outstanding daytime personality, the statuette defaults to the host entry. Hosts from the same program will be included in a single entry with all hosts, co-hosts, anchors and correspondents on the same submission and the reel must contain footage that highlights all entrants.”

• Daytime Personality – Daily: “Honoring hosts, co-hosts, anchors and correspondents on daytime-eligible content that airs or streams daily and/or has more than 52 episodes per calendar year. Eligible genres are: Entertainment news, legal/courtroom, travel/adventure/nature, instructional/how-to, lifestyle, arts and popular culture, educational and informational and short form. Talk series hosts and culinary hosts remain eligible only in their respective categories.”

• Daytime Personality – Non-Daily: “Honoring hosts, co-hosts, anchors, correspondents and narrators on daytime-eligible content that airs or streams weekly or all at once and/or has fewer than 52 episodes per calendar year (regardless of how many were filmed or produced). Eligible genres are: Entertainment news, legal/courtroom, travel/adventure/nature, instructional/how-to, lifestyle, arts and popular culture, educational and informational, daytime special and short form. Talk series hosts and culinary hosts remain eligible only in their respective categories.”

(For Daytime Hosts, the Talk Series Host and Culinary Host categories remain unchanged.)

• Petitioning Off-List Credits: “Late credit additions are still permitted, as per the parameters above, but only for on-list credits. Off-list credits must be submitted at the time of entry to allow for awards administration to seek a full petition if warranted. Off-list credits cannot be submitted late.”

• Music Licensing: “For categories identified as music categories (these are music direction and composition and original song in the Daytime Emmys), nominees will be required to provide complete publishing information and sign an additional NATAS-issued licensing agreement allowing NATAS to use the music featured in the ceremony clips.”

• Late Credit Additions: “NATAS is moving away from a policy of allowing late credit additions after the ceremony date. This is the final year in which daytime will allow for fee-based changes after the ceremony date. Entrants should be preparing for a streamlined process including reviewing credits, name spellings, titles, etc. at the time of submission. Changes within five business days after the nominations announcement are free; after six days, $250 per change. For the first 30 days after the ceremony, it’s $500 per change. After 30 days, changes are not allowed. (And starting next year, they’ll never be allowed.)

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