COVID-19 has wreaked havoc on the upcoming 2020-2021 Awards season. The Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences rescheduled the Oscars for April, leaving others, like the BAFTAs, to rework around them. But for the Emmys, things aren't that simple. Unlike everyone from the Golden Globes to the Guild Awards, the Emmys don't run January-December, but June-May, with the Primetime ceremony in September. With the bulk of this year's potential nominees unaffected by the pandemic, the event will not be rescheduled. Instead, the Television Academy announced Jimmy Kimmel will host the 2020 Emmy Awards on Sept. 20. But what exactly he's hosting remains to be seen.
Most of the awards that run eligibility calendars from January to December face a bulk of the year rocked by the ongoing shutdowns around the globe. But for the ceremonies themselves, they are in luck, as those can be delayed deep into the 2021 calendar. The Emmys, on the other hand, may have a much more robust cross-section to nominate from. But with a September ceremony in the midst of the pandemic, no one is sure how things will proceed.
The Television Academy has already made the call to turn the two-day-long award show for the "Creative Arts," (held one week before the Primetime ceremony) into a virtual event. Along with that, the annual Governors Balls are canceled for the first time in Emmy history.
But for the Primetime Emmys themselves, it's not clear what kind of show can or should be held. It's not even clear if actors will be willing to attend in a socially distanced and masked format. (And that's not counting the traditional pre-ceremony red carpet festivities.)
This year, it's ABC's turn to air the Emmys, making Kimmel, the channel's late-night host, the natural choice to host. This will be his third time helming the Emmys. Kimmel has already co-hosted the virtual televised event, One World: Together At Home with fellow late-night hosts Jimmy Fallon and Stephen Colbert, and has plenty of experience doing his own show remotely.
As Kimmel put it in his statement:
I don’t know where we will do this or how we will do this or even why we are doing this, but we are doing it, and I am hosting it.
According to Variety, several ideas are under consideration:
Among the scenarios being explored for an Emmys broadcast are a fully virtual version, as well as an in-person event that could still incorporate some virtual or other 'non-traditional' elements. The most important thing in determining which to choose is ensuring the health and safety of anyone involved in the show.
Whatever form it takes, the show will go on. Nominations will be announced on Tuesday, July 28. The 72nd Primetime Emmy Awards will air on ABC on Sunday, Sept. 20, at 8 p.m. ET.
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