The Gemini Awards, which celebrate the best in Canadian TV, have changed the rules to put big-budget co-productions such as The Tudors and The Borgias in a separate category.
The changes were announced Tuesday by the Academy of Canadian Cinema & Television and take effect for the 2012 awards.
In the past few years, international co-productions have outshone homegrown dramas in the best drama category, with The Borgias, about the Renaissance Italian crime family, winning best drama in 2011 and The Tudors, about Henry VIII and his many wives, winning in 2010.
Co-productions with funding from more than one country, include programs such as The Kennedys and The Pillars of the Earth, have become increasingly popular as producers struggle to stretch their budgets.
However, homegrown dramas such as Skins, Endgame, Flashpoint and Republic of Doyle have been overshadowed when Geminis are handed out.
Martin Katz, chair of the Academy of Canadian Cinema & Television, said the Gemini changes reflect "the new market reality for Canadian television and digital media."
"In recent years, the number of international co-productions on Canadian television has been growing. With the introduction of this new category—best international drama—series such as The Borgias will compete directly with mini-series such as The Pillars of the Earth, for example, which is fitting," Katz added in a statement released Tuesday.
The academy has also lowered the price of nominating digital programs to encourage more participation from fledgling new media content.
Another rule change will allow all academy members to vote in all Gemini categories.
The next Gemini Awards will be given out Aug. 28, Aug. 29 and Sept. 5 in Toronto.