With kids and family content entries increasing by 23% over the last two years—making it the fastest-growing daytime awards genre in that period—the National Academy of Television Arts and Sciences (NATAS) is planning to launch a dedicated competition and ceremony for the Children’s Emmy Awards in 2022.
The newly branded Children’s & Family Emmy Awards will be run and presented separately from the Daytime Emmy Awards in July, where the majority of kids programming prizes have traditionally been given out. A date for the new ceremony hasn’t been announced yet, but according to NATAS president and CEO Adam Sharp, it will likely be held towards the end of next year.
NATAS also expects to add new categories, and may redefine some existing ones, to better reflect the full scope of the expanding children’s and family content landscape.
Animation, in particular, will be a big focus since the Individual Achievement in Animation category received the most entries (nearly 300) across all NATAS awards programs last year. The Daytime Emmys has already added seven new categories over the past several years to accommodate preschool entry growth alone.
The new categories for 2022 will be revealed closer to the release of eligibility guidelines and a call for entries sometime next year. A key reason why NATAS has made this announcement so far in advance of the planned ceremony is to give the organization time to engage the kids entertainment community on how to develop the awards program, Sharp says.
The size of the kids and family jury is also expected to grow as the competition expands, Sharp adds. “Not having the children’s judging at the exact same time as the Daytime Emmys—so we don’t have to recruit and administer those two judging pools simultaneously—will make it easier to grow the children’s jury and recruit more effectively.”
The introduction of the Children’s & Family Emmy Awards marks the first standalone expansion of the Emmys since 1979, when it launched the Sports Emmy Awards and the News & Documentary Emmy Awards.
These changes come on the heels of the Primetime Emmy race shifting its children’s programming category to the Daytime Emmys at this year’s ceremony. New York-based NATAS and the Academy of Television Arts and Sciences (ATAS or Television Academy), its sister org in LA, orchestrated the swap in response to streaming eliminating the traditional concept of dividing the broadcast day into several dayparts.
A third sister org, the International Academy of Television Arts and Sciences, independently manages the International Emmy Kids Awards, which has also undergone changes of late. Previously held during MIPTV in the spring, the competition moved to the fall for the first time this year, and will coincide with MIPCOM every October going forward.