2020 Emmy Awards To Be Virtual: ‘We’ll Come To You’

Airing a major Hollywood award show in the midst of a global pandemic is no mean feat.

Last month, plans for the Critics Choice Association to hold its second annual Real TV Awards were scuttled, leading to a brief 25-minute virtual presentation that was seen via livestream.

With the 72nd annual Emmy Awards set to take place in September, plans are now being made for the first-ever virtual ceremony.

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As Variety reports, the producers of this year’s Emmys — including Jimmy Kimmel, who’ll be returning as host — sent a letter to key nominees on Wednesday revealing their plans for the show.

“As you’ve probably guessed, we’re not going to be asking you to come to the Microsoft Theatre in downtown L.A. on September 20th. This year, it’s still going to be TV industry’s biggest night out… but we’ll come to you!” reads the letter.

“At a time like this, we’re taking the opportunity to create a moment that is more relaxed, more entertaining, more enjoyable not only for you, but for the millions watching at home,” the letter continues. “It’s still television’s highest honor, and 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 (and guarantees you a memorable night).”

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Admitting that they “cannot ignore the circumstances,” producers promise “an event that is filled with warmth and humanity, which celebrates the power of television to bring us together and to help us shape our world.”

With that in mind, producers “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. We’re going to make you look fabulous – we’re exploring the cutting edge of technology to allow to use good cameras and lighting and look forward to working with you to produce your unique ‘on screen’ moments.”

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The letter also addresses what nominees will be wearing for the big night. “Our informal theme for the night is ‘come as you are, but make an effort!'” the letter adds. “If you want to be in formal wear, we’d love that, but equally if you’re in the U.K. and it’s 3 a.m., perhaps you want to be in designer pajamas and record from your bed! We want to work with you to style your moments, but want you to guide us on your levels of comfort — where you want to be, who you want to be with, what you want to wear etc.”

Following Variety‘s publication of the letter, ABC issued the following statement: “As ABC and the TV Academy continue to formulate plans for the Emmys telecast, producers have taken the proactive step of reaching out to some nominees now to inform them of our intent to deliver a live show that is both celebratory and safe. We look forward to sharing information with you in the weeks ahead, as we solidify our plans for TV’s biggest night.”

The 72nd annual Emmy Awards will air on Sunday, Sept. 20.

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