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Jimmy Kimmel to Host Primetime Emmy Awards Ceremony, in Whatever Form It Takes

No word yet on potential changes for the Primetime Emmy Awards telecast, scheduled for September 20 on ABC.

Emmys Governors Ball

2019 Emmys Governors Ball

Willy Sanjuan/Invision/AP/Shutterstock

It’s taken until mid-June, but pieces are starting to fall into place with regards to this year’s Emmy festivities.

ABC announced that Jimmy Kimmel would be returning to host the 72nd Primetime Emmy Awards ceremony, scheduled for September 20 broadcast on the network. The “Jimmy Kimmel Live!” star previously hosted the 64th and 68th Emmy Awards, suggesting that the refractory period for hosting the ceremony is right around four years.

“I don’t know where we will do this or how we will do this or even why we are doing this, but we are doing it and I am hosting it,” Kimmel said in a statement, capturing the sense of bewilderment plaguing most of Hollywood in recent months.

“We know Jimmy Kimmel will deliver a uniquely entertaining, funny and moving Primetime Emmys show,” ABC Entertainment president Karey Burke said.  “He’s a true master of ceremonies who reveres this industry and its people; and just as Jimmy has done with his own show over the past few months, he will tackle this momentous event with heart and humor, and bring some much-needed joy and optimism to our television colleagues and viewers at home.”

Further details about the production are forthcoming.

On Monday, the Television Academy announced that the traditional ceremonies for the 2020 Creative Arts Emmys, will be replaced by a virtual event spanning several nights in September. The event was originally scheduled to take place in dual ceremonies on September 12 and 13. The Creative Arts Emmys celebrate artists and crafts people in a variety of genres including reality, variety, documentary, animation, comedy, drama, limited series, and movies.

The Academy has also made the decision to forgo the Governors Ball events, the official Emmy afterparty, that typically follows both the Primetime and Creative Arts Emmys. It’s the first time the organization has made the move to cancel the events. The decision comes in light of the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic, with the Academy underlining that its priority is in the health and safety of participants.

“This has been an incredibly challenging time for our industry; and though we are now making plans to get back to work, we know there are many still suffering from the work stoppage caused by the coronavirus,” Television Academy Chairman and CEO Frank Scherma said in a statement. “As we strive to do the right thing for our community with these changes to our annual events, the Television Academy is also pleased to support those still in need with a $1 million donation to The Actors Fund COVID-19 Relief Fund.”

Scherma said that the funds will be utilized to beef up support for those within the industry who are struggling with the day-to-day realities of the pandemic, including those subject to layoffs and furloughs. “As the industry reemerges, we will continue to support our more than 24,000 members and our community through this donation and our Academy’s programs and resources,” he said.

Since March 18, 2020, The Actors Fund has provided more than $12.5 million in emergency financial assistance to 10,598 people who work in performing arts and entertainment.

While today’s announcement was helpful in clarifying the group’s strategy moving forward with the Creative Arts Emmys, the fate of the main event remains under wraps. Both the TV Academy and ABC have continued planning for the Primetime Emmy Awards telecast, as originally scheduled for Sunday, Sept. 20, 2020. In his statement, Scherma reiterated that both groups are dedicated to delivering a show honoring television’s role in 2020, bringing people together amidst a pandemic, as well as the groundswell of continued support for social justice and equality as reflected globally in recent weeks.

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