Here's Why 'Hamilton' Won't Get Any Oscars This Awards Season

by Ani Bundel

Hamilton was initially scheduled for a theatrical release in October of 2021. It was surprisingly far-away date, considering the announcement came in February of 2020. When the current coronavirus pandemic led to films pushing their release dates down the calendar, and Disney pulled Hamilton to go directly to Disney+ in July of this year, it felt like a more natural choice. But it also left fans wondering, will Hamilton be eligible for an Oscar or an Emmy?

At first glance, Hamilton being eligible for an Oscar seems a stretch. The film is really a 2016 recording of a live show that already won big at the Tony Awards. But then there was that initial release date of October of 2021, right smack in the middle of the traditional awards season releases. And, it was positioned a year out so as not to interfere with creator Lin-Manuel Miranda's *other* Oscar contender, In The Heights, which was initially planned for a summer of 2020 release.

However, regardless of its release date (or whether it showed up in theaters or on Disney+), it seems there was no chance of the recording being in the running for an Oscar in the first place. Though the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences amended its 2020 rules to allow movies that were pulled from theaters and released on streaming services due to the pandemic to be eligible for awards, Hamilton still doesn't count. That's because the rules for consideration by the Academy state that "recorded stage productions are not eligible for consideration."

But this rule, which was added to AMPAS in the late 1990s, does not carry over to other awards shows. The Emmys, for example, have no bans on such material. In fact, the Television Academy states explicitly:

Programs exclusively originated for or derived/adapted from a medium other than television or broadband (e.g. taped concert tour performance, Broadway play, opera, night club act), and entertainment components of sports programs (e.g. halftime show) are eligible as appropriate in variety special (live) or variety special (pre-recorded).

That does not mean Disney+ will be able to nominate Hamilton this year. The cutoff date for consideration for September's ceremonies was May 31, 2020. But with Disney+ facing possible delays for some of its high-profile Marvel series this fall, and perhaps beyond, Hamilton as an Emmy submittal come 2021 could totally be a thing. Plus, it would probably be a shoo-in for some of the technical awards at the Creative Arts Emmys, considering the groundbreaking filming techniques used to capture it.