MTV made a strategic choice to move the MTV Movie and TV Awards into the middle of Emmy nomination voting — and it paid off in attracting top-name small-screen talent to this year’s event. Netflix sent the casts of “Stranger Things” and “13 Reasons Why,” while others appearing included NBC stars Mandy Moore and Kate McKinnon, Lena Waithe (Showtime’s “The Chi”), Zazie Beetz and Lakeith Stanfield (FX’s “Atlanta”), Aubrey Plaza (FX’s “Legion”) and HBO’s “Game of Thrones” stars Emilia Clarke and Maisie Williams, all of whom are in the hunt for Emmys.
“The date change was a draw for networks and streaming platforms, and talent looking for opportunities to get their content out there during this key window,” said Amy Doyle, General Manager, MTV, VH1 and Logo. “And you’ll see that in full effect when watching the show.”
The shift toward television began last year, when MTV rebranded its long running Movie Awards to include TV for the first time. This year’s show leaned even further into TV.
“In doing our own Emmy campaigns for MTV and VH1, we saw an opening in mid-June that was squarely in the pre-nom Emmy voting window and immediately staked our claim,” Doyle said.
Other awards have attempted to capitalize on the Emmy voting season in the past, including the Critics Choice Awards — which eventually scrapped its separate June ceremony for TV, moving TV categories to its January show. But Doyle said MTV saw opportunity as Emmy campaigns grow more competitive.
“We like the June date but, as always, we’ll regroup immediately after the show airs and assess everything,” she said.
TV categories this year include best show and best performance in a show, while TV and film are integrated in categories including “Best Hero,” “Best Villain,” “Best On-Screen Team,” “Best Comedic Performance” and “Scene Stealer.”
Like last year, MTV has also incorporated male and female performers into singular categories.
“After going gender-neutral with last year’s show, we mandated that as a move forward, every one of our tentpoles would follow suit including the Video Music Awards,” Doyle said. “The reaction has been uniformly applauded — studios, networks, talent, media, viewers. MTV has always pushed boundaries with programming and events. Our audience doesn’t see gender walls so this felt like a natural progression. We hope others do the same.”
MTV pre-taped this year’s show, after having broadcast the ceremony live for several years. The 2018 “MTV Movie & TV Awards,” hosted by Tiffany Haddish, airs Monday, June 18 at 9 p.m. ET. Joel Gallen, who helped create the awards show and produced it for 14 years, is back as executive producer and director.