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TV Academy Announces Multiple Virtual Ceremonies for Creative Arts Emmy Awards

Sometimes more is better and sometimes more is just more.


Libby Hill/IndieWire

The Television Academy heard you like the Emmys, so this September, the organization is bringing you not one, not two, but six separate events to disperse the 124 awards celebrating the best of television.

Details are beginning to coalesce around next month’s Creative Arts Emmy Awards; the latest announcement is that the awards will be doled out in four virtual ceremonies beginning on Monday, Sept. 14 and airing on consecutive nights on Emmys.com. A fifth live ceremony will occur on Saturday, Sept. 19 and be broadcast on FXX beginning at 8 p.m. ET/5 p.m. PT. The events will serve as a direct lead-up to the Primetime Emmy Awards Ceremony held the next evening, Sept. 20, and hosted by Jimmy Kimmel and broadcast on ABC at 8 p.m. ET/5 p.m. PT.

Six Emmy ceremonies in seven nights. What could possibly go wrong?

Less than you’d think, actually. According to a representative from the Academy, though the events are called live by the director, all elements of the Creative Arts Emmy ceremonies will be pre-taped, with the primary difference being the first four events streaming on Emmys.com and the fifth broadcast on FXX.

As for why so many ceremonies, the idea was to keep each program a reasonable running time, the better to keep the audience engaged while also allowing for genre organization. The awards categories presented at the Creative Arts ceremonies will include:

Monday, September 14: Reality and Nonfiction
Tuesday, September 15: Variety
Wednesday, September 16: Scripted Night One
Thursday, September 17: Scripted Night Two
Saturday, September 19 (FXX ceremony): “An eclectic mix of awards across all genres”

What skews the schedule a bit is the inclusion of the, admittedly eclectic, Saturday ceremony, which cherrypicks the most high-profile categories from previous nights for its own use. That means that while Outstanding Structured Reality Program is included in Monday’s ceremony, Outstanding Unstructured Reality Program won’t be announced until Saturday. Outstanding Variety Special (Live) will be awarded on Tuesday, while Outstanding Variety Special (Pre-Recorded) will be held until the FXX broadcast.

In the meantime, the TV Academy has trimmed back the number of categories awarded at the Primetime Emmy Awards Ceremony, relegating awards for Outstanding Directing for a Variety Series, Outstanding Television Movie, Outstanding Variety Sketch Series, and Outstanding Writing for a Variety Series to the Tuesday (for Variety categories) and Saturday (for TV movie) ceremonies, respectively.

A full list of category breakdowns by ceremony can be found here.

While the information released by the TV Academy is clarifying, plenty of questions abound. The announcement name-checked Jimmy Kimmel, who was previously announced as host and executive producer — alongside Guy Carrington, Reginald Hudlin, David Jammy and Ian Stewart — of the Primetime Emmy Awards, but didn’t give any clue as to whether or not its other ceremonies will have dedicated hosts.

The organization still has a little time to hammer out the details of its six pending Emmy ceremonies. Final round Emmy voting opens on Friday, August 21 and closes on Monday, Aug. 31 at 10 P.M. but the clock is ticking.

Tick tock.

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