Taking advantage of the lengthy stretch of runway ahead of the Primetime Emmy Awards in September and in response to the COVID-19 pandemic, the Television Academy has opted to revise the upcoming Emmy calendar and tweak its hanging episode rules for series and limited series.
“Following discussions with key industry partners, the Television Academy Board of Governors voted to update the Emmy Awards calendar to better accommodate ongoing changes and disruptions in production and programming schedules across all network, cable and streaming services,” the organization stated in an announcement made Friday morning, citing “unprecedented challenges resulting from the COVID-19 pandemic” as the catalyst for the changes.
Despite adjustments to the Emmy schedule, the ceremonies for the Creative Arts and Primetime Emmys are still set for their respective dates, September 12 and 13, and September 20, respectively. But the route to those celebrations has taken something of a detour.
Rather than go with a hard and fast two-week delay to its process, the adjustments to the Emmy schedule are graduated in nature, slowly phasing out as the season stretches on. The calendar now stands as such, with original dates included in parentheses:
Revised Emmy Awards Calendar
June 5: Entry deadline (was May 11)
July 2: Nominations-round voting begins (June 15)
July 13: Nominations-round voting ends (June 29)
July 28: Nominations announced (July 14)
August 21: Final-round voting begins (August 17)
August 31: Final-round voting ends (August 31)
The awards body began with an extension of the entry deadline of more than three weeks, with nomination voting beginning just under four weeks later. Originally, entrants had a leisurely five weeks between the deadline and the start of voting. The trims continue from there, concluding with final-round voting lasting just 10 days and concluding as previously scheduled on August 31.
The decisions came after representatives from networks and studios urged the Academy for action earlier in the week, looking for guidance on the future of For Your Consideration events and what kind of calendar they could expect moving forward.
For now, the answer is simple: No FYC events at all. Amending its stance from several weeks ago, during which the Academy determined that the rest of the season’s FYC panels would be done sans audience, and available to watch via livestream or pre-recorded video, Friday’s message clarified that for now, all FYC events have been suspended for the season.
The other change introduced by the Academy dealt with an already contentious area — hanging episodes — but first, some context.
In December, the group declared a rule change that determined any episodes of a regular series released or broadcast after May 31 must be made available for members to view on a member-accessible platform in their final form by May 31. For limited series, the entirety of the project must be made available to members by May 31, otherwise the whole series — individual achievements included — must wait to enter the subsequent year’s competition.
These changes are still in place, but Friday’s announcement extended the eligibility period for entrants with hanging episodes, giving them until June 30, instead of May 31, to submit hanging episodes (those episodes that exist outside the normal eligibility window). All programs must still premiere before the May 31 deadline to be eligible for the 2020 Emmys.
The TV Academy did urge in its message that while there are no plans to delay September’s ceremonies that the organization is sensitive to the ongoing fluidity of the public health crisis, and have every intention of abiding by national and statewide mandates and monitoring information as it is available from the Centers of Disease Control and Prevention and the L.A. County Department of Public Health.