Primetime Emmy Awards
Credit: OBYN BECK/AFP via Getty Images

In pre-pandemic times, the format of an awards ceremony merely challenged if a host was necessary, now, the future of these glitzy and glamorous events are unknown. Following the announcement of the 2020 Primetime Emmy Awards nominations last month, the American Broadcasting Company is gearing up for a virtual show come September 21. But as the first major awards ceremony to attempt such grand-scale production, everyone is asking what exactly that would look like not only for nominees but attendees and those watching along at home.

Done+Dusted president Ian Stewart, whose company is handling production on the show for a third year in a row and 72nd Emmy Awards executive producers Reginald Hudlin and Stewart have spoken to Variety on the intertwining logistics of a virtual ceremony.

Jimmy Kimmel will host live at the Staples Centre, but there will be no audience and no red carpet. The reason for this particular venue is its size – it is enormous – and will ensure the space for COVID-19 safe protocols and the equipment needed to livestream the event around the globe.


Professional camera operators will be stationed with each nominee around the globe. The ambitious plan could see up to 140 livestreams into the Staples Centre. The goal is to avoid using platforms like Skype, FaceTime or Zoom on their laptop and phones.

“This will all depend on the comfort level of the people at the other end, but we’ve got to go and find them,” Stewart said. “They might be at home, they might be in the garden, might be in a hotel, they might be standing on the side of the street. It doesn’t really matter, wherever they feel comfortable. But we want to bring every nominee that we can logistically, live into the show.”

Primetime Emmy Awards
LOS ANGELES, CALIFORNIA – SEPTEMBER 22: Jharrel Jerome accepts the Outstanding Lead Actor in a Limited Series or Movie award for ‘When They See Us’ onstage during the 71st Emmy Awards at Microsoft Theater on September 22, 2019 in Los Angeles, California. (Photo by Kevin Winter/Getty Images)

Producers are asking all nominees to send over pre-taped acceptance speeches in case of a win. But obviously, only one will be played. You really can’t go over your allocated time now. Producers are still not sure if all nominees will be given a token Emmy trophy to hold during these speeches.

The dress code will be far more casual. According to Stewart, the producer wants on-camera guests to be comfortable and admits there will surely be a variant in those wearing designers gowns and those in pyjamas.

Some presenters may be present at the Staples Centre. But in isolated areas to that of other people.

That being said, it appears that kinks in the logistics still need to be sorted. Now we just wait to see the main event. Stay tuned for further developments.