“American Horror Story” will compete as a minseries at the 2012 Emmys

On Friday, FX announced that its critically acclaimed freshman drama American Horror Story will compete in the Best Miniseries category instead of the Best Drama category this year at the 2012 Primetime Emmy Awards.

In a surprising turn of events, FX and AHS executive producers Ryan Murphy and Brad Fulchuk announced that the horror drama will vie for gold against miniseries from networks like HBO and PBS. At the 2011 Primetime Emmys, six programs were nominated, which in included The Kennedys (ReelzChannel), Cinema Verite (HBO), Mildred Pierce (HBO), Too Big to Fail (HBO), The Pillars of the Earth (Starz), and Downton Abbey (PBS) – with Downton Abbey winning the trophy. In 2010, only two programs were nominated.

The leap from Best Drama to Best Miniseries could be huge for American Horror Story. First, this this show is technically an “anthology series” that varies in plot and cast members, it may be more appealling in the eyes of the voters at The Academy of Television Arts and Sciences. Secondly, American Horror Story won’t be forced to compete with TV juggernauts Mad Men, Breaking Bad, Boardwalk Empire, and The Good Wife in the Best Drama category.

Last week, it was announced that both PBS’ Downton Abbey and BBC America’s Luther would also be making a transition in categories this year at the Emmys. Both shows will not be competing in the Best Drama category, moving from the miniseries category. With Downton and Luther trying to vie for nominations, there could be the slight chance that AHS could be passed over for a nomination if it were to stay in the Best Drama category.

This may also fare better for the stars of American Horror Story. Since the show itself will be entered in the miniseries category, Dylan McDermott, Connie Britton, and Golden Globe and SAG winner Jessica Lange will also compete in the miniseries category, giving them a better chance at scoring a win against long time winners in the Best Actor/Actress/Supporting Actress categories that they would compete in.

Emmy nominations will be announced it July, so it will be interesting to see exactly what  programs American Horror Story will be competing against.

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