PureDWTS: Academy Changes Rules for Outstanding Choreography Category – What Does This Mean for DWTS?

Probably not much, in the great scheme of things…but it might *slightly* improve the chances of DWTS getting a nomination:

Restructured Choreography Categories

There will be two separate juried awards:

Outstanding Choreography for Variety and Reality Programming (Variety Series, Variety Special, Structured Reality, Unstructured Reality and Competition Program)
Outstanding Choreography for Scripted Programming (Comedy Series, Drama Series, Limited Series and Television Movie)

There were several other changes made to other categories, such as a minimum length for the Outstanding TV Movie category and a new sound mixing category, per Deadline.  The other rule change which could affect DWTS’ eligibility for nominations involves the “hanging episode” rule, which allows for the submission of certain episodes airing outside the designated eligibility period:

Hanging Episode Eligibility

Eligibility changed from “airing prior to the nomination-round voting deadline” to
“airing prior to the start of nomination-round voting.”

Addendum to Hanging Episode Rule:

Programmed networks may post episodes on a distribution platform in advance of
the episodes’ airdates in cases where they otherwise would be “hanging” or
ineligible because they are scheduled outside the eligibility period. Posting must
meet the following criteria:

● Episodes must be posted within the current eligibility year (i.e., by May 31).
● Episodes may be posted on a private distribution platform accessible only to
Television Academy membership.
● Episodes must be the same in form and content as they will later appear in
their regular time slots.
● The subsequent airing of the episodes must take place within the month of

So what do the above rule changes mean for DWTS? Given that the choreography category has now been split into reality and scripted, it may free up a slot or two for nominations from reality dance shows, since there have been a few rogue nominations from scripted shows (notably Smash, Crazy Ex-Girlfriend, and The Real O’Neals) that have snuck into the category in recent years and given SYTYCD & DWTS a run for their money.  That being said, I’m not sure there was anything particularly noteworthy, choreography-wise, on DWTS this past season (two seasons if you count Juniors) that would be able to stand up to Nigel’s relentless nomination campaigning over at SYTYCD, or some of the genius work coming out of WOD (though they were notably snubbed this past year, likely owing to Nigel’s aforementioned campaigning). As for the scripted category, I have a feeling it’s probably going to be pretty small – maybe only 2-3 nominations – and if there’s a contender for a winner in that category, I think it might be this surprisingly edgy dance from It’s Always Sunny in Philadelphia – can’t remember who tweeted me this (Tres? Robbie?) but it’s a gem:

As for the hanging nomination rule, it won’t affect DWTS this time around, as there’s no spring season that might miss the deadline…but who knows what the future holds.