By Lynn Elber
AP Television Writer
If it walks like a drama and talks like a drama and yet calls itself a comedy, that’s just fine with the Emmy Awards.
But the audience for Monday’s ceremony (8 p.m., NBC) may suffer momentary confusion when, say, the Netflix women’s prison saga “Orange Is the New Black” pops up as a nominee for best comedy series.
While the Emmys have included category-busters before, the 66th prime-time contest is an especially freewheeling one.
“The Emmys are being loosey-goosey about category placement,” said Tom O’Neil, author of “The Emmys” reference book and organizer of the Gold Derby awards website.
Such flexibility isn’t unusual when it comes to TV awards in Britain, where category definitions are less stringent and series formats are more fluid than in the United States, said Gareth Neame, the U.K. executive producer of PBS’ Emmy-winning “Downton Abbey,” a nominee once more.
“My view is all these producers, studios and (networks) are just giving their best shot to try to get their shows nominated, and what producer wouldn’t do that?” Neame said.
The tactic isn’t frivolous. Shows are angling to better their odds of winning TV’s top honor, which can bring not only prestige but also possibly more viewers.
Emmy bragging rights are another matter. With the explosion of acclaimed cable and online content, traditional broadcast networks are finding themselves shut out or lightly represented in the major categories including best drama and comedy series.