‘The Walking Dead: The Ones Who Live’ Not Eligible for Emmys’ Limited Series Category, Will Submit as Drama (EXCLUSIVE)

AMC Networks’ plans to submit the zombie spinoff “The Walking Dead: The Ones Who Live” as a limited series for the Emmys have been killed.

The cable network had announced plans to submit the six-episode spinoff, created by Scott M. Gimple, Danai Gurira, and Andrew Lincoln, for outstanding limited or anthology series at the Primetime Emmys. However, Variety has learned exclusively from two sources with direct knowledge that the show is ineligible to submit in the category.

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In 2021, the Television Academy defined what constitutes a limited or anthology series, stating that the story must be resolved within its season without any ongoing storylines. This criteria affected past winners, such as the second season of “The White Lotus,” which was required to compete as a drama due to Jennifer Coolidge’s recurring character. According to the Academy’s ruling at the time, “the reappearance in a subsequent ‘season’ of one character from a large ensemble does not prohibit eligibility based on the main criteria for limited series.”

Interestingly, miniseries actors are grouped with those from television movies, both eligible for submission in their respective categories, regardless of returning characters. Emmy darling Tony Shalhoub, who won three lead comedy actor awards for his portrayal of Adrian Monk in “Monk” in 2003, 2005 and 2006, is competing for his reprisal of the character in the Peacock movie “Mr. Monk’s Last Case: A Monk Movie.”

Despite these challenges, “The Ones Who Live” has received some of the best reviews of any “Walking Dead” series or spinoff in recent years. Gurira, who penned the emotionally charged fourth episode titled “What We,” will now compete for lead drama actress and writing alongside Michael Slovis, who is submitting for directing. Further nominations will be pursued for Pollyanna McIntosh, who portrays Jadis Stokes, an officer of the Civic Republic Military. However, Matthew Jeffers, who plays Nat, an engineer who befriends Michonne, was originally slated to submit as a supporting actor but appears only in the second episode, “Gone.” He will now be considered for guest actor (drama).

This reclassification could be a blessing in disguise, potentially increasing the show’s chances for recognition. This year’s drama category is far less competitive, with only one former nominee returning, Netflix’s “The Crown.” Compared to the crowded limited or anthology series category, which will only name five nominees, the drama series category will recognize eight series. Many other returning shows that have never been recognized by the TV Academy, including Apple’s “The Morning Show,” HBO/Max’s “The Gilded Age,” and Disney+/Marvel’s “Loki,” are seeking their first nominations.

Despite its popularity, “The Walking Dead,” which ran from 2010 to 2021, struggled to make a significant impact at the Emmys, with only 16 nominations and two wins across 177 episodes and 11 seasons. Other spinoffs like “Fear the Walking Dead,” “World Beyond” and “Tales of the Walking Dead” have also been ignored.

AMC will still submit other “Walking Dead” spinoffs, “Daryl Dixon” and “Dead City” in drama series. In addition, the network will submit Scott Frank’s neo-noir miniseries “Monsieur Spade” starring Clive Owen, the dramas “Parish” featuring Giancarlo Esposito and “Dark Winds” and the comedy “Cooper’s Bar” with Rhea Seehorn.

Read: All Primetime Emmy predictions in every category on Variety’s Awards Circuit.

Emmy submissions are due May 9, with the eligibility deadline for all series concluding their runs by May 31. Nominations-round voting runs from June 13 to June 24.

The updated planned submissions for the series are below.

  • Outstanding Drama Series

  • Lead Actor in a Drama Series — Andrew Lincoln

  • Lead Actress in a Drama Series — Danai Gurira

  • Supporting Actress in a Drama Series — Pollyanna Mcintosh

  • Guest Actor in a Drama Series — Matthew Jeffers

  • Directing for a Drama Series — Michael Slovis (104)

  • Writing for a Drama Series — Danai Gurira (104)

  • Main Title Design – Huge Designs

  • Period Or Fantasy/Sci-Fi Makeup (Non-Prosthetic) – Ande Yung

  • Cinematography For A Series (One Hour) – Adrian Peng Correia (101); Wesley Cardino (104)

  • Special Visual Effects In A Season Or A Movie – Johann Kunz, SPFX Supervisor; Charlotta Forssman, VFX Supervisor

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