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Emmys Shift to Outdoor Ceremonies, Fewer Attendees as Delta Rages On

Both Creative Arts events and the Primetime Emmys will take place on the Event Deck at L.A. Live, and not all nominees will be able to attend.

THE 72ND EMMY® AWARDS - Hosted by Jimmy Kimmel, the "72nd Emmy® Awards" will broadcast SUNDAY, SEPT. 20 (8:00 p.m. EDT/6:00 p.m. MDT/5:00 p.m. PDT), on ABC. (ABC/ABC)JENNIFER ANISTON, JIMMY KIMMEL

Jennifer Aniston and Jimmy Kimmel at the 72nd Primetime Emmys


Last year’s Emmy ceremony was memorable, to say the least. The first awards show to take place in the wake of a global pandemic had its share of bumps, including a literal trash fire on-stage. But, for better or worse, the Emmys showed us what an awards ceremony could look like in this brave new world. This year, despite the discovery and distribution of vaccinations, the threat of COVID-19 variants means that the Emmy Awards ceremony will be anything but a return to the norm.

The Television Academy announced Tuesday that all ceremonies, including the Creative Arts Emmys, will take place on the Event Deck at L.A. Live directly behind the Microsoft Theater where the ceremony was scheduled to be held. The locale is a far cry from the expansive Staples Center where last year’s events took place, but the new venue allows for both inside and outside access, as well as more opportunities to host guests in an open-air, socially-distanced fashion.

Along with the change in venue, the TV Academy shared that even though invitations have already been distributed, the organization would be further limiting attendance — meaning that nominated teams of three or more will be limited to no more than four tickets per nomination. Nominees are being encouraged to coordinate amongst themselves and determine how they will allot their four tickets before submitting the RSVP.

For instance, that means that the credited writing staff — all 28 of them — on “Saturday Night Live,” who are nominated for Outstanding Writing for a Variety Series, will be allowed only four tickets between them. The same goes for the eight makeup artists from “The Mandalorian,” nominated for Outstanding Prosthetic Makeup and the 21 individuals from the “Bob’s Burgers” team nominated for Outstanding Animated Series.

These determinations were made after the consultations with Health and Safety experts in Los Angeles County by the TV Academy. Today’s announcement also cautioned that conversations are ongoing and plans could be further adjusted in coming weeks.

Cedric the Entertainer, the popular comedian and star of the CBS sitcom “The Neighborhood” is already set to host this year’s Emmys ceremony. “Since I was a little boy huddled up next to my grandmother, television has always been my reliable friend, so it is an enormous honor for me to host this year’s Emmy Awards,” said Cedric the Entertainer in a statement accompanying the announcement. “Throughout the roller-coaster of a year that we have all lived through, television has helped us stay connected as a society like never before. It not only entertained us, but as it always has, it helped to open our eyes, educate us, and hopefully brought about a better understanding of who we are as a people. I can’t wait to take the stage to celebrate all of the great shows and performances that made us laugh, cry, dance, and sing over the past year.”

The ceremony will air on CBS and will be available to stream live and on demand via Paramount+. Executive producers Reginald Hudlin and Ian Stewart as well as director Hamish Hamilton — the team behind 2020’s successful virtual Emmys — will return in the same roles. Done+Dusted and Hudlin Entertainment are producing.

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