It turns out this year’s Emmys are not going to be the great return to traditional awards ceremonies everyone was hoping for. With the Delta strain of the COVID-19 virus increasing among non-vaccinated individuals across most of the United States and Los Angeles County, the Television Academy has made some changes to the Primetime Emmy Awards and two Creative Arts Emmy Awards ceremonies. Most importantly, they will now take place mostly outside on the events deck of the Microsoft Theater.
Similar to the hybrid indoors/outdoors ceremony wonderfully staged by the Grammy Awards this past winter, all three ceremonies will use an outside seating plan to allow for more socially distanced attendance. More importantly, the Television Academy is going to limit the number of nominees at each ceremony. Whether that means some categories will allow for virtual acceptance speeches or will be announced off-air remains to be seen. As of right now, nominated “teams” of three or more are limited to just four tickets.
All three ceremonies were originally intended to be held inside the Microsoft Theater at the LA Live complex in downtown Los Angeles.
As the situation in LA County is in flux, The Television Academy also left the door open for more changes, noting in correspondence to the nominees, “Conversations are ongoing, and we will provide further information as it is available. The Television Academy appreciates everyone’s understanding as we continue to navigate the COVID-19 delta variant.”
Earlier this week, the Television Academy revealed that the Primetime ceremony’s red carpet would be limited in scope. Moreover, numerous productions across Los Angeles have had COVID outbreaks over the past few weeks following California’s reopening in mid-June.
The Creative Arts, mostly “below-the-line” and non-narrative honors, will be handed out on Sept. 11 and 12th. The 73rd Primetime Emmy Awards will be hosted by Cedric the Entertainer and produced by Reginald Hudlin and Ian Stewart who, along with director Hamish Hamilton, pulled off the most seamless virtual ceremony of the COVID era. The flagship ceremony will be broadcast live on CBS and Paramount+ on Sept. 19.