The Academy of Television Arts & Sciences has expanded the number of nominees for its top prime time awards.
The Board of Governors voted to up the nominees from five to six in Outstanding Comedy and Drama Series programs, Outstanding Lead Actor and Actress in a Comedy and Drama, and Outstanding Supporting Actor and Actress in a Comedy and Drama.
"The increase in the number of nominees in these categories is a strong statement about inclusivity," Television Academy Chairman-CEO John Shaffner said in announcing the change. "It exemplifies the Television Academy's awareness of the amount of great television and fine individual work that is seen across the enormous spectrum of the television universe."
The cable end of that spectrum has been increasingly represented in those top categories.
ATAS also cited the number of ties in the past several years that resulted in six nominees in a number of categories anyway.
The Academy has also simplified the voting process for those top categories by reducing it from a three-step to a two-step voting procedure.