Why the hell were 2 adaptations of Emma made within the same year as each other
Well the world is an imperfect place and the whole situation ultimately involves four separate adaptations of Emma.
On the one hand you’ve got Americans doing their own thing in developing a feature film version of Emma [one!] (and initially planning a modernized take before they knew that Clueless [two!] was already in production so they reverted to a straightforward period piece.) This would become the feature film starring Gwyneth Paltrow.
Then over in Britain you’ve got Andrew Davies fresh off his unprecedented success in adapting the 1995 Pride and Prejudice for the BBC as a miniseries getting into some mild contractual awkwardness with the BBC after pitching Emma to them as his next project–only they’d already commissioned Sandy Welch to write one for them (and her Emma [three!] would not be produced and broadcast by the network for another 14 years.) So Davies decamped over to rival network ITV and took most of the production team from the BBC’s P&P with him to do their version as a television film [four!] which certainly has less of the marketing glamour and star-power of the Hollywood adaptation but nonetheless is still an adaptation with several comparative merits of its own.
Basically you’ve got an American film industry and a British TV industry both working on their own things and with their own damn problems and there’s no rule that says they have to check in with each other or that they CAN’T make two Emma adaptations at the same time. So they did just that.