73rd Annual Golden Globe Awards - Press RoomThe 2017 Golden Globes have an official airdate, and with it, a revised set of rules that aim to clarify confusion over the drama and comedy categories, among other issues.

First up, the Hollywood Foreign Press Association has pegged January 8, 2017 as the date for the 74th Golden Globes ceremony. Next year's event will be the first under the scrutiny of a new slate of rules, among them those that will attempt to cut down on so-called "category fraud" when it comes to submitting films for awards.

The most famous recent example of such was Ridley Scott's "The Martian," which was submitted in -- and won the statuette for -- the Best Comedy or Musical category in 2016. Star Matt Damon also took home the trophy for Best Actor in a Comedy or Musical, and quipped about the odd category classification in his acceptance speech.

But under the new HFPA guidelines, such a scenario would be less likely to play out. The new rules state that "motion pictures shall be entered in the category that best matches the overall tone and content of the motion picture. Thus, for example, dramas with comedic overtones should be entered as dramas." The organization will then determine whether or not to accept studios' category submissions, and if it decides to change a film's classification, it must secure 2/3 majority membership vote do so. Studios and publicists are also prohibited from lobbying the HFPA over category designations.

In addition to those rules, the HFPA is also putting more scrutiny on itself, now prohibiting members from "attend[ing] events (including parties, receptions, lunches and dinners and similar events) at which Golden Globe nominees are present. HFPA members may continue to attend screenings and press conferences available to comparable members of the media at which nominees are present, but may not solicit individual press opportunities with nominees during this period." The HFPA has long been chastised for allegedly offering awards to studios and nominees who successfully wine and dine its membership; these changes appear to be aimed at amending that criticism, and the Globes' credibility along with it.

The 74th annual Golden Globes ceremony will air on NBC on January 8, 2017 at 8 p.m. No host has been announced yet.

[via: The Hollywood Reporter]

Photo credit: Getty Images

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