Orange is the New Black made its Netflix premiere at an arguably disadvantageous time — it was ineligible for the 2013 Emmys. Regardless, the show was a huge hit, the biggest Netflix has had, and as such it is already being discussed as a big award contender for the coming season. Which is why Netflix's decision to submit Orange is the New Black as a drama instead of a comedy when gunning for Golden Globes and Emmys is pretty fascinating.
The comedy race for television awards has long been haunted by cable dramedies — Nurse Jackie, Weeds, Girls, United States of Tara, The Big C, etc. In the past there has even been a tendency of these comedy/drama mashup shows to take home the bulk of the comedy acting prizes, probably due to the unfortunate habit Hollywood has of thinking crying/mental breakdown scenes are harder to master than comedic ones.
Orange is the New Black was expected, in this tradition, to submit itself amongst the comedies. But apparently not anymore: TVLine is reporting that Netflix is switching its submission from comedy to drama.
This is at once a refreshing move and a risky one. It's refreshing because of the aforementioned reasons — it frees up some space in the comedy categories for at least one more of the many comedy shows making a mark right now to be honored. It also makes things ever so slightly rougher for OITNB: The drama race is already a tight one.
Because a move to the drama category? That means OITNB will be directly competing with the final season of Breaking Bad. There are others, too, who are already tough to beat — Mad Men, for example, and Homeland — but the final season of Breaking Bad? Oof, good luck.
(And we actually mean that sincerely: good luck)