LOS ANGELES — The Emmy Awards show in September is the latest casualty of the coronavirus pandemic, and that may mean some celebrities appearing in pajamas or from their bedrooms.
Hollywood trade publication Variety on Wednesday said that host Jimmy Kimmel and producers of the Sept. 20 telecast have written to Emmy nominees confirming there will not be a traditional gathering in Los Angeles to celebrate television.
“As you’ve probably guessed, we’re not going to be asking you to come to the Microsoft Theater 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!,” said the letter, obtained by Variety.
It said producers were planning to film nominees at home or another location of their choice.
“So, what are you wearing??? Our informal theme for the night is ‘come as you are, but make an effort!’.
“If you want to be in formal wear, we’d love that, but equally if you’re in the UK and it’s 3 a.m., perhaps you want to be in designer pajamas and record from your bed!,” the letter added.
The letter gave no details about the format of the show which is usually broadcast live in front of an audience of A-list stars.
ABC television, which will broadcast the show, said on Wednesday that producers had reached out to nominees and that plans were still being worked out.
The letter followed Tuesday’s Emmy nominations, which were led by Watchmen, comedy The Marvelous Mrs. Maisel, crime drama Ozark, and Succession. Many of the nominees are British actors, directors or writers.
The Emmy Awards is one of the few entertainment industry gatherings that have not been canceled because of the pandemic. Venice film festival organizers said this week that they were going ahead in early September with a slimmed down version of what will be the first major in-person movie festival in the COVID era.
HBO’s dystopian superhero drama Watchmen and the 1960s comedy The Marvelous Mrs. Maisel on Tuesday led an Emmy nominations list dominated by Netflix and what Variety said was a record number of Black actors.
Watchmen scored 26 nods, including best limited series, while Amazon Studio’s The Marvelous Mrs. Maisel got 20.
Netflix led all platforms with a record 160 nominations for shows ranging from Stranger Things to Tiger King. It was followed by HBO with 107, including a surprise nod for Zendaya, the 23-year-old mixed race star of teen drama Euphoria.
Schitt’s Creek, the sleeper hit comedy about a wealthy family forced to live in a rundown motel, scored 15 nods, including for best comedy series and its four main cast members.
Actor Eugene Levy said it had taken people time to fall in love with the show, which aired its final season in April.
“The love and inclusivity that the show had touched people in a meaningful way, particularly now, but (also) in the past year certainly with the mood and tone of what was going on in the world,” Levy told Reuters on Tuesday.
Most of the Emmy-nominated shows completed filming before the coronavirus pandemic shuttered Hollywood production, but the effects of the disease that has confined millions to their homes was apparent in reactions on Tuesday.
“This is the best news I’ve had since getting locked up in the house five months ago,” quipped Alan Arkin, who was nominated for comedy The Kominsky Method.
“We are feeling blessed and hoping our show continues to bring a little lightness, levity and joy,” said Mrs. Maisel nominee Tony Shalhoub.
Succession, about a sparring media family, scored 18 nominations including nine for its actors. Ozark, the saga of a middle-class family that launders money, also received 18 nods.
Half of the nominees for best comedy series were Emmy newcomers, such as female-driven Dead To Me and Issa Rae’s Insecure take on 20-something Black women in Los Angeles.
“Women of all ages and color have never had it better,” said Helena Bonham Carter, who was nominated for playing Britain’s Princess Margaret in The Crown.
At a time when Hollywood’s record on diversity is under scrutiny, multiple nominations went to people of color, including Muslim American Ramy Youssef (Ramy), Kerry Washington (Little Fires Everywhere and American Son), Regina King (Watchmen) and returning Emmy champion Billy Porter (Pose).
The Television Academy did not give a breakdown but Variety calculated that 35, or 34.3%, of the 102 acting nominations went to Black actors, smashing the previous highest tally of 27.7% in 2018.
“I’m proud to see so many Black artists nominated this year. It gives me hope that systemic change in our entertainment industry is not only possible, it’s imminent,” said Jeremy Pope, reacting to his nod for playing a Black screenwriter in Hollywood.
Jennifer Aniston landed her first Emmy nomination in a dramatic role for her performance as a TV anchor in the Apple TV+ drama The Morning Show.
Among the surprises was a best drama series nod and 14 others for The Mandalorian, the popular Star Wars spinoff on the Disney+ streaming platform. — Reuters