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Daytime Emmys eliminate Best Younger Performer category, and other shakeups

The Daytime Emmys announced their call for awards entries on Thursday, February 1. But that’s not all. They also revealed a number of changes to this year’s event, including the elimination of the category of Best Younger Performer in a Drama Series, ending a decades-long tradition of honoring the best up-and-coming talent in the medium. Younger performers will now be slotted into lead, supporting or guest categories instead.

National Academy of Television Arts and Sciences (NATAS) president Adam Sharp said in an official statement, “Programming is always changing, and NATAS continues to adapt its competition rules to reflect these shifts in the television landscape. We’re looking forward to gathering again at the 51st Daytime Emmys to celebrate all the nominees and the entertaining and enlightening programs they create.”

The Daytime Emmys first awarded younger performers in 1985, and over the years they awarded some of daytime’s most iconic stars including Michael E. Knight (“All My Children”), Heather Tom (“The Young and the Restless“), Kristoff St. John (“Y&R”) and Roger Howarth (“One Life to Live”). Awards also went to performers who went on to succeed outside the world of daytime dramas, most notably Julianne Moore (“As the World Turns”), Anne Heche (“Another World”) and Sarah Michelle Gellar (“AMC”).

The number of soap operas on the air eventually dwindled to just four (“GH,” “Y&R,” “The Bold and the Beautiful” and “Days of Our Lives“), and with fewer competitors for the two awards, the Daytime Emmys consolidated them in 2020 into a single, gender-neutral Best Younger Performer category, which was presented for four years, most recently to “GH” star Eden McCoy. Now all performers will be categorized as lead, supporting or guest actors regardless of age.

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Also eliminated from the Daytime Emmys this year is the award for Best Promotional Announcement. Meanwhile, Best Writing for a Daytime Non-Fiction Series and Best Writing for a Daytime Non-Fiction Special are being merged into Best Writing for a Daytime Non-Fiction Program. And the award for Best Daytime Program Host is being split into Best Daytime Personality–Daily and Best Daytime Personality–Non-Daily.

For more information on what categories will be presented and what materials will be submitted for consideration, click here. And for key dates, click here.

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