YouTube Star PewDiePie Can Now Win a Primetime TV Emmy

Academy creates new short-form categories

PewDiePie already boasts the largest following on YouTube, and now the popular creator could add another accomplishment to his list: an Emmy award.

Today the Television Academy announced it has expanded and redefined many short-form categories for this year's Primetime Emmys. The Academy added three awards: Outstanding Short Form Series, Variety; Outstanding Individual Actor in a Short Form Series; and Outstanding Individual Actress in a Short Form Series. The Academy also renamed the Short Format Live Entertainment category as Outstanding Short Form Series, Comedy or Drama; and Short Format Nonfiction is now Outstanding Short Form Series, Reality/Nonfiction.

The Academy defines a short-form series as having a minimum of six episodes that average 15 minutes or less.

"Our industry is aggressively, quickly and creatively evolving the various ways episodic stories are told," said TV Academy chairman and CEO Bruce Rosenblum. "These category changes reflect the broader opportunities that emerging networks and distribution platforms, such as Maker Studios, Fullscreen, Crackle, AwesomenessTV, YouTube Red, Adult Swim and others, are seizing in choosing innovative formats that enable our television community to share stories in novel and entertaining ways."

While the big streaming players like Netflix, Amazon and Hulu have qualified for TV Emmy nominations—and have won many—other digital players that don't have the budget for 30- or 60-minute episodes have largely been ignored.

Until now, if a digital short longed for a prize, it would have to vie for a Webby or Streamy, which are based on fan votes.

The new short-form categories will not be part of the Primetime Emmys broadcast. Instead, they will be featured during the Creative Arts Emmys, which will run two nights on the weekend before the prime-time awards on ABC in September.

For the Primetime Emmys, the Academy increased the number of nominations from five to six for directing and writing honors in both comedy and drama.