Writers Animated Over 'Community' Emmy Eligibility
'Simpsons,' 'Family Guy' and 'Futurama' scribes protest NBC sitcom's inclusion
By Kenny Herzog Jun 19, 2012 9:39AM
For a modestly rated comedy that's been relocated to the TV abyss known as Friday nights and that's recently fired its erratic creator, Dan Harmon, that pesky "Community" sure stirs up trouble by the tablespoonful. As fully detailed by Entertainment Weekly, dozens of writers from prime-time animated staples "The Simpsons," "Family Guy" and "Futurama" have taken umbrage with the Television Academy granting "Community" Emmy eligibility in both animated and live-action forums. "Community" producers submitted the episode "Digital Real Estate Planning" (seen above) for cross-category inclusion.
Bing: More on the Emmy Awards | "Community"
Consequently, "Simpsons"/"Futurama" and "Family Guy" honchos Matt Groening and Seth MacFarlane, among others, signed a letter to the Academy stating that its "ban on submitting in multiple categories is being enforced in an arbitrary and unfair manner. We therefore request that we also be able to submit our programs for both animation and comedy series as well as in the writing category."
The letter elaborates that a similar exception for "Community" last year was justified as a supposed "one-time waiver" and that their opposition is "in no way intended to be a slight on the terrific show 'Community' but a request from us to enjoy the very same rights they now do."
The Academy responded by playing the old loophole card, explaining that, "'Community' is a Comedy Series that for the last two years has included an animated 'special episode.' The competition includes a rule that a special episode can enter as a stand-alone special, 'if it involved a significant and substantive format change throughout e.g. from whole-episode live action to whole-episode animation.'"
So, clearly, all Groening and the "Simpsons" writers need to do for whole and just Emmy acknowledgment is irrevocably alter the timeless format that's made their show an indelible gold standard of network television for more than two decades. Otherwise, the Academy would need to reconsider their own operating guidelines, and that would just be inconvenient.
"Community" returns Friday, October 19, at 8:30 p.m. ET/PT on NBC. "The Simpsons" airs Sundays at 8 p.m. ET/PT on FOX. "Family Guy" airs Sundays at 9 p.m. ET/PT on FOX. "Futurama" returns Wednesday, June 27, at 10 p.m. ET/PT on Comedy Central.