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New Emmy rules open door for fresh talent

Emmy officials are revamping their awards rules for the second time in two years, hoping to give newcomers a better chance against the longrunning series and familiar stars that can monopolize the awards.

Under the revised approach, blue-ribbon panels will play an instrumental role in determining the nominees for drama and comedy series, and those series' lead actors and actresses.

The Academy of Television Arts & Sciences' board of governors implemented changes in 2004 in a similar bid to freshen the competition. Last year, ABC's freshman series Lost was named best drama.

Under the new rules, panels will pick the five nominees for comedy and drama series from 10 front-runners voted on by the academy's general membership. The panels will view videotapes of shows to make their decisions.

Previously, the nominees were the leading vote-getters in the membership vote.

For the comedy and drama acting nominations, performers who have made the first pass at picking the nominees will be joined by directors and casting executives.

Members of the latter two groups also will have the chance to join the panels choosing the final nominees. The nominees will be chosen from among the top membership vote-getters, 15 in this case.

The same procedures already are used for performers in a music-variety show and guest actors in a series. Supporting actor races will not use the method.

Academy governors approved the changes last week.