2020 Emmys officially going virtual: ‘It’s still going to be TV industry’s biggest night out, but we’ll come to you!’

On July 29, the day after the Primetime Emmy nominations were announced, the producers of the Emmy telecast sent a letter to acting nominees letting them know what most of us were already expecting. This year’s awards are going virtual.

“As you’ve probably guessed, we’re not going to be asking you to come to the Microsoft Theatre in downtown LA on September 20th. This year, it’s still going to be TV industry’s biggest night out … but we’ll come to you!” explains the letter, which was signed by producers Jimmy Kimmel, Ian Stewart, Reggie Hudlin, Guy Carrington and David Jammy. Kimmel is also hosting the event.

The letter goes on to say, “We never want to lose the significance of being nominated for, and maybe winning, an Emmy, but we’re going to do in a way that is appropriate to the moment … We are assembling a top notch team of technicians, producers and writers to work closely with Jimmy Kimmel and with you and your team, to make sure that we can film with you (and loved ones or whomever else you choose to be with) at your home, or another location of your choice … In the forthcoming days, Jen Proctor, our Talent Producer and her extraordinary team at Cultivated Entertainment will be reaching out to you to start talking through the details.”

The good news for the Emmys is that they have a number of examples they could learn from since many other programs and events have had to adapt to the realities of the COVID-19 pandemic. “American Idol’s” live shows went virtual. Talk shows like “The Daily Show,” “Last Week Tonight” and “Full Frontal” have kept up with the news cycle with socially distanced episodes. And the Daytime Emmys recently went forward with their own virtual ceremonies.

The show must go on, and many shows already have. With modern technology there’s no shortage of options for how to do so.

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