Emmy Awards competition to get fierce under new changes

FILE - In this Sept. 18, 2011 file photo, Kate Winslet accepts the award for outstanding lead actress in a mini-series or movie for ?Mildred Pierce? at the 63rd Primetime Emmy Awards in Los Angeles. The Academy of Television Arts & Sciences said Thursday, May 31, 2012 that it will merge the leading and supporting acting categories for such longform programming. Starting with the 2013 awards, new categories for outstanding actor in a miniseries or TV movie and outstanding actress in a miniseries or movie will each include six nominees. Previously, the four movie and miniseries acting categories included five nominees. (AP Photo/Mark J. Terrill, file) Mark J. Terrill

Kate Winslet accepts the award for outstanding lead actress in a mini-series or movie at the 63rd Primetime Emmy Awards in Los Angeles on Sept. 18, 2011.
AP
(CBS/AP) Competition for Emmy Awards is about to get fiercer among TV movie and miniseries performers.

The Academy of Television Arts & Sciences said Thursday that it will merge the leading and supporting acting categories for longform programming.

Starting with the 2013 awards, new categories for outstanding actor in a miniseries or TV movie and outstanding actress in a miniseries or movie will each include six nominees, equal to other performing categories.

Previously, the four movie and miniseries acting categories included five nominees each.

The TV academy already chipped away at the long-form categories last year, combining the outstanding TV movie and miniseries nominees into one field.

The academy's decision didn't sit well with at least one channel. Lifetime called it "disappointing," especially in the wake of the consolidation of the movies and miniseries categories, and said award-worthy projects and performances will be slighted.

The change announced coincided with an indication of how robust the competition will be for this year's miniseries and movie Emmys, which will be the last to recognize lead and supporting actors separately.

History channel's "Hatfields & McCoys," which broke basic cable ratings records this week, included critically acclaimed performances by leads Kevin Costner and Bill Paxton, as well as by cast members such as Tom Berenger, who likely would compete for supporting actor honors.

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