2020 Daytime Emmys will go virtual out of caution: ‘A single person-to-person transmission would be devastating’

The Daytime Emmys had already been postponed as the result of the COVID-19 pandemic, but on April 29 the National Academy of Television Arts and Sciences revealed that the current plans are to hold the event virtually. The same will be true of the Sports Emmys and the News and Documentary Emmys. No specific date for the Daytime Emmys ceremony has been set, however.

NATAS president and CEO Adam Sharp explained, “While it appears unlikely that officials would even permit these large-crowd events to be held this year, it is also clear that there will be a lag of time between being permitted to have an event and being able to provide an environment in which all attendees feel safe and comfortable attending it. Ultimately, a single person-to-person transmission resulting in serious infection would be devastating evidence of mistaken judgment in proceeding.”

The Daytime Emmy nominations announcement had originally been scheduled April 27 with the winners to be presented over the course of three nights from Friday, June 12, to Sunday, June 14. But the nominations were pushed back to mid-May, and the ceremonies themselves were called off. It’s hard to say exactly when the world’s economic and entertainment activity will resume, but business as usual may look pretty unusual for the next year or two.

The industry is learning how to carry on as the weeks go by. TV talk shows have adopted at-home formats like “The Daily Show,” “Full Frontal” and “Jimmy Kimmel Live,” among others. The reality competition show “American Idol” is doing its live shows with contestants performing at home. Musicians have performed for fans from a safe social distance. Even the NFL draft was conducted virtually.

Award shows are especially tricky since they involved large groups of entertainers clustered closely together for several hours at a time, so without a vaccine for the coronavirus, such gatherings will be risky even if we’re past the peak of infections, if such events are allowed at all. How do you think the Daytime Emmys and other award ceremonies should proceed?

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