Emmy Awards Live: The Primetime Emmys are still being planned as a live show, and producers have less than a month to figure out exactly how to safely pull it off amid the coronavirus pandemic.
Host Jimmy Kimmel will be live from a stage in the Staples Center, but there will be no audience and no red carpet, The 72nd Emmy Awards executive producers tell Variety. And the show is not going to be one giant virtual meeting session, they said, noting they don’t want the ceremony to turn into the “Zoomies.”
“Jimmy loves to work live, and we love to work live,” executive producer Reginald Hudlin told the publication. “This is a show that will still very much be, whenever and however possible, a live show. There’s a lot of challenges that come with doing a live show in a Covid environment. But we’re not running from those problems, we’re embracing them.”
The Staples Center was chosen because it’s large enough to house a crew under coronavirus-safe protocols. Producers also need to hook up an “unbelievable” number of wiring connections and live feeds to professional cameras wherever each nominee is located. Producers anticipate that’s about 140 live feeds coming into the control room.
“In some cases, they may agree to have a family member in a nominee’s Covid bubble to operate the broadcast camera. The goal is to avoid using platforms like Skype, FaceTime or Zoom on their laptop or phones,” Variety reports.
What about the actual Emmy statue?
Cars racing to winners’ home was thrown out, and some people who are nominated aren’t even in the country.
“We’re coming up with a lot of interesting possible solutions,” Hudlin tells Variety. “And one of the things that we’re working through in terms of the show is that everything doesn’t have to be the same. We want to have a lot of variation and experimentation within the show. Once you say the world is your studio, then you can do some inventive things.”
In a normal year, the best part of TV awards shows is often the red carpet coverage. But, as we all know, this isn’t a normal year, and the 2020 Emmy Awards ceremony is going virtual. Among other things, that means there won’t be a traditional red carpet. However, just as the Emmys are continuing, so is the red carpet coverage.
In a surprise that indicates why this year’s Emmy Awards are being held on a remote basis, two of the previously announced E! red carpet coverage hosts, Giuliana Rancic and Vivica A. Fox, were absent. As the “E! Live From the Red Carpet” show began, Rancic said in a recorded message that, in accordance with safety precautions, she was tested for coronavirus, and the test came back positive.
“As I go into my 20th year on the E! red carpet I have to say I do not take missing an award show lightly, but unfortunately this year is just so different,” Rancic said. “As part of E! and NBCUniversal’s very strict testing guidelines, especially before an event like this, I did find out that I tested positive for COVID-19. Now as much as I didn’t want to hear that, I’m very thankful I heard it before I traveled and possibly could have exposed other people. So for that, I’m thankful.”
Rancic said that her husband and their son also tested positive, but that all were doing well.
Brad Goreski, E! style correspondent, also read a statement Vivica A. Fox had released, announcing that she has also tested positive for the coronavirus.
As for what the rest of the E! Channel pre-awards show red carpet programming may bring, viewers might see some fancy duds, if only on the hosts. After months of sporting T-shirts and shorts while spending time on the couch, the idea of gawking at somebody else’s glammed-up get-up sounds pretty good.
Here are details on how to watch 2020 Emmy Awards red carpet coverage.
What: “Countdown to the Red Carpet: The 2020 Emmy Awards,” featuring Nina Parker, Brad Goreski, Erin Lim and Emmy-nominated actress Laverne Cox, as they count down “10 of the most anticipated Emmy nominees and their biggest moments.”
Streaming: The “Live From E! Stream” digital show will answer questions submitted by viewers, and offer more second screen coverage, on @enews Twitter, eonline.com, and the “E!News” app at 4 p.m. PT (7 p.m. ET)
Don’t forget, the 72nd Primetime Emmy Awards, hosted by Jimmy Kimmel, begins at 5 p.m. PT (8 p.m. ET) on ABC, Sunday, Sept. 20.