LOS ANGELES (AP) — In a normal year — if there is any such thing in Hollywood anymore — the 75th Emmy Awards ceremony would be Monday night, and the many nominees from shows like “ Succession ” and “ Ted Lasso ” would be claiming their trophies or happily clapping for the winners.
Here’s a look at what’s happening, and what may happen, with the awards that have been thrown off course.
A shadow hung over this year’s Emmys from the start. Writers, who are essential to the process both as nominees and the people who provide jokes and patter for the show, had been on strike for more than two months when the nominees were announced June 11. Then just three days after “Succession,” “ White Lotus,” “ The Last of Us ” and “Ted Lasso” were named as the top nominees, leaders of the actors union announced they would join writers in a historic Hollywood work stoppage.
With union rules allowing no interviews, panels or awards-show participation, acting nominees had just a few days to do the kind of media promotion that is usually rampant after a nomination. Writers couldn’t do it at all.
The Television Academy and Fox TV, which was scheduled to air the show this year, initially kept the original Sept. 18 show date in place, with hopes the strikes would end quickly.
But with no realistic prospects for resolution, Fox and the academy decided in mid-August to change the show date to Jan. 15, 2024, Martin Luther King Day, at the Peacock Theater in downtown Los Angeles. No host has been announced.
The January date in many ways makes sense. Because they are still tied to the traditional fall-through-spring broadcast television season, the Emmys have been among the few awards shows held in September. That TV model, as the strikers know all too well, has been upended by cable and streaming structures that observe no such conventions. That traditional Emmy scheduling was starting to create odd situations. Voters were casting ballots for season one of the “The Bear” — which got 13 nominations — after season two had already aired. And now the results won’t be known until nearly a year after the second season premiere.
The January date will put the Emmys within the rest of Hollywood’s awards season, when red carpets rule and performers are on the promotional prowl. The show is slated for about a week after the Golden Globes and about six weeks before the Screen Actors Guild Awards — both ceremonies that honor television along with movies.
The date also puts it in line with the Emmys’ early years in the late 1940s and early 1950s, when they were held in January or February.
The delay is the first time the Emmys have been postponed since 2001, when the 9/11 attacks came just five days before the planned ceremony. Then the launch of the war in Afghanistan, which came hours before the rescheduled October show, prompted another postponement until November, when a small, restrained show hosted by Ellen DeGeneres finally ran.
The 2020 ceremony, dominated by “ Schitt’s Creek ” and dubbed the “Pandemmies” by host Jimmy Kimmel was seriously scaled back because of the coronavirus, with nominees accepting trophies and making speeches from remote locations, but the date was never moved.
With nothing else normal about the Emmys, the Television Academy at least wanted the voting process to go on as planned, and for the results to be as close as possible to what they would have been without the upheaval.
The Emmys are decided by votes from the nearly 20,000 members of the Television Academy. The membership is divided into 31 peer groups including animators, performers, directors and writers. Members of each group vote for Emmy winners in those categories, and all eligible voters can cast ballots for the awards that go to entire shows, including best drama series and best drama series.
This year’s ballots went out as planned on Aug. 17 and had to be returned by Aug. 28. That means the winners are already decided, but it will be four months — at least — before the envelopes are opened revealing them.
The new date looked a long way off when it was scheduled, but Emmy organizers may have to face the prospect that the strikes could still be going on in January. Writers have currently been off the job for 4 1/2 months, the actors for two months. The stoppages spilling into next year would make them historically long, and go well past initial predictions.
Negotiations between writers and studio s have been slow in restarting. There have been no talks, and none are planned, between studios and actors.
Prolonged strikes could mean another Emmys postponement, or a show transformed into a glorified news conference, as happened with some awards during the pandemic.
It would also throw the Oscars, and the entire awards season, into doubt.
For more on the actors and writers strikes, visit: https://apnews.com/hub/hollywood-strikes/