July 26, 2021

How chaotic will 2020’s virtual Emmys be? Picture 130 video feeds. At once.

The 2020 Primetime Emmys are going to be a proving ground, if nothing else.

The 72nd annual ceremony — which will air on ABC at 8 pm ET on Sunday, September 20, and stream on ABC’s website (with a cable login), Hulu’s Live TV service, and something called FuboTV — won’t be held in a giant theater full of celebrities because (and I don’t know if you’ve heard this) the global Covid-19 pandemic makes hosting events where lots of people crowd together into one room not advisable.

Instead, the awards are primed to become an ode to barely structured chaos. There will be 130 cameras stationed around the world — from New York to Los Angeles, from London to Tel Aviv — all designed to capture the moment when a nominee wins or loses. And for safety’s sake, those cameras are either going to be operated remotely or by the nominees themselves. The Television Academy has shipped out tiny “production” units, which contain a camera, a laptop, a ring light, and a boom microphone, as per a recent press conference with the awards show’s producers. (You can read a list of nominees right here.)


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