LOS ANGELES — In a normal year — if such a thing still exists in Hollywood — the 75th Emmy Awards would take place Monday night, and the many nominees from shows like “Succession” and “Ted Lasso” would be either claiming their trophies or being happy . applauding the winners.
Instead, actors’ and writers’ strikes led to a postponement until January.
Here’s a look at what’s happening, and what could happen, with the rewards that have been diverted.
How have Hollywood strikes affected Emmy nominations?
A shadow has hung over this year’s Emmys from the start. The writers, who are essential to the process both as nominees and as the people who provide jokes and jokes for the series, had been on strike for more than two months when the nominees were announced on June 11. Then, just three days after “Succession,” “White Lotus,” “The Last of Us” and “Ted Lasso” were named among the top nominees, actors’ union leaders announced they would join the writers in a historic work stoppage in Hollywood.
With union rules not allowing any interviews, panels or participation in an awards ceremony, acting candidates had only a few days to do the kind of media promotion that is usually commonplace after a nomination. The writers couldn’t do it at all.
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New January date puts Emmys into prime season
The Television Academy and Fox TV, which were scheduled to air the show this year, initially kept the show’s original date of September 18, hoping that the strikes would end quickly.
But with no realistic prospects for a resolution, Fox and the academy decided in mid-August to change the show date to January 15, 2024, Martin Luther King Day, at the Peacock Theater in downtown Los Angeles. No host has been announced.
The January date makes sense in many ways. Because they are still tied to the traditional fall-to-spring television season, the Emmys have been among the few awards shows held in September. This model of television, as the strikers know very well, has been disrupted by cable and streaming structures that do not respect these conventions. This traditional Emmy scheduling was starting to create some strange situations. Voters voted for the first season of “The Bear” — which earned 13 nominations — after the second season aired. And now the results won’t be known until almost a year after the premiere of the second season.
The January date will place the Emmys into the rest of Hollywood’s awards season, when red carpets reign supreme and performers are on the lookout for promotion. The show is scheduled about a week after the Golden Globes and about six weeks before the Screen Actors Guild Awards — two ceremonies that honor television as well as movies.
This date also corresponds to the early years of the Emmys, in the late 1940s and early 1950s, when they were held in January or February.
More:List of Emmy nominations: Television Academy awards ‘The White Lotus,’ ‘Succession,’ more
This is the first time the Emmys have been postponed since 2001, when the September 11 attacks took place just five days before the scheduled ceremony. Then the outbreak of the war in Afghanistan, which occurred hours before the postponed October show, prompted another postponement until November, when a small, sober show hosted by Ellen DeGeneres finally aired.
The 2020 ceremony, dominated by “Schitt’s Creek” and dubbed the “Pandemmies” by host Jimmy Kimmel, was seriously scaled back due to the coronavirus, with nominees accepting trophies and giving speeches from remote locations, but the date has never been moved.
Emmy votes are all won
With the Emmys being anything but normal, the Television Academy at least wanted the voting process to go as planned and the results to be as close as possible to what they would have been without the upset.
The Emmys are awarded by the votes of the nearly 20,000 members of the Television Academy. Members are divided into 31 peer groups including animators, performers, directors and writers. Members of each group vote for the Emmy winners in these categories, and all eligible voters can vote for awards given to entire shows, including Best Drama Series and Best Drama Series.
This year’s ballots were cast as scheduled on August 17 and were due back by August 28. This means the winners are already decided, but it will be at least four months before the envelopes are opened and revealed.
More:Hollywood writers want to resume strike talks with film and TV studios after negotiations fail
What happens next?
The new date seemed far away when it was scheduled, but Emmy organizers may have to face the prospect that strikes could still continue into January. The writers have currently been off work for 4 and a half months, the actors for two months. Shutdowns extending into next year would make them historically long and far exceed initial forecasts.
Negotiations between the writers and the studios took time to restart. There have been no discussions, and none are planned, between the studios and the actors.
Prolonged strikes could mean another postponement of the Emmys, or a show transformed into a glorified press conference, as has happened with some awards during the pandemic.
It would also cast doubt on the Oscars and the entire awards season.
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