Stephen Colbert

Stephen Colbert will never lose to Barry Manilow again.

The Academy of Television Arts & Sciences has dropped its Primetime Emmy award for Outstanding Individual Performance in a Variety or Music Program, Variety reports. The category's elimination will prevent awkward face-offs between series hosts (Colbert and Jon Stewart, for example), and specials performers such as Manilow, who triumphed over Colbert, Stewart, Craig Ferguson and David Letterman in 2006 for his music special Barry Manilow: Music and Passion.

Series hosts will now be thrown into the variety/music/comedy series race alongside producers and creators, while specials performers will compete in the variety/music/comedy specials category.

The performance categories were merged in 1997, and since then, no series host has won the individual performance Emmy. Last year's champ was Don Rickles (Mr. Warmth: The Don Rickles Project), who won over Colbert, Letterman, Stewart and Tina Fey, who was nominated for Saturday Night Live.

Other Emmy rule changes include naming voice-over performance for animated series as a competitive race, splitting the children's program category into informational/nonfiction and entertainment, and having art directors for multi- and single-camera series compete separately.

These tweaks come a month after the Academy's decision to expand the series and acting fields to feature six nominees.