‘Black Mirror: Bandersnatch,’ Netflix and the Emmys TV Movie Crisis (Column)

  • Variety
As A-list stars and auteurs made their way to TV this decade, “limited series” orders became a way to sign them up without having to lock in full-season commitments. The format has become such a dominant part of modern TV culture that it’s hard to believe that less than a decade ago there were too few miniseries (as the genre was then dubbed) to even mount its own category.

In 2011, the Television Academy merged TV movie and miniseries into one consolidated program field because the number of miniseries entries had dropped below the threshold needed for at least five nominees. Ironically, that same year both PBS’ “Downton Abbey” and FX’s “American Horror Story” premiered — and the success of those shows swiftly became the template for a whole new kind of “limited series” that now dominates the genre.

The impact of “Downton,” a limited series that then became a regular drama,
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