The Academy of Television Arts & Sciences has created a new juried award for prime time nonfiction programming.
The award, for Exceptional Merit in Nonfiction Filmmaking, is intended to give shows that aren't news and documentaries, but aren't clip shows or TV bios, a chance for an Emmy judged by nonfiction producers only.
Currently, shows like Nova or HBO's series Born Rich are in the same category as clip shows like the AFI's One Hundred Greatest Heroes and Villains, and are judged by the entire membership.
The Academy was looking for a way to reward shows that "demonstrate profound social impact, significant innovation of form and/or remarkable mastery of filmmaking technique," without throwing them into the general membership voting for regular nonfiction categories with shows that might better demonstrate a popular subject matter appeal or skill in editing together clips.
Informational and news shows are not eligible, nor are reality shows.
Programs can be entered in either the regular or juried category, but not both, and it is possible that no award could be given if none meets the standard.