The 72nd Emmy Awards, hosted by Jimmy Kimmel, will air on Sunday, September 20 (8:00 PM EDT / 6:00 PM MDT / 5:00 PM PDT) on ABC.
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The 72nd Emmy Awards will be an unparalleled ceremony.
As the entertainment industry's first major awards show since the coronavirus pandemic began, all eyes will be on host Jimmy Kimmel and the ABC team on Sunday evening. Rather than pre-recording segments, the Primetime Emmys chose to send 130 cameras to nominees in 20 cities and 10 countries.
Producer Ian Stewart likened the daunting production process to trying to "watch 130 sports games at once" during a virtual round table with reporters on Wednesday.
The nominees received a ring light, laptop, boom microphone and camera as part of the package. The winners deliver their acceptance speeches and are then taken to a virtual press room for quick press conferences with reporters.
For comparison, the Creative Arts Emmys, which took place over four evenings this week, had recorded acceptance speeches from each nominee. Whoever won had their speech broadcast.
With so many feeds to monitor, the production team decided to use the Staples Center in Los Angeles as the base of operations for the show. There will be no audience at the event and no red carpet. A dress code has not been provided to nominees, so some can take advantage of the opportunity to dress up while others may opt for comfortable pajamas.
The show will include performances by Jason Bateman, Sterling K. Brown, Laverne Cox, Graf von Graf from Sesame Street, Morgan Freeman, Lin-Manuel Miranda, RuPaul and Patrick Stewart, among others. It is unclear whether they will be broadcasting from the Staples Center or whether they will be attending the TV show from home.
Musician H.E.R. will perform live for the "In Memoriam" segment.
"It's kind of a logistical nightmare," Stewart said jokingly, according to media reports. "It's going to be great. How could it possibly go wrong?"
Both the production team and Kimmel seem to accept the possibility of disaster and assume that something will go wrong and they will have to adjust quickly.
The award ceremony is an experiment and is treated as such by the team. Producer Reginald Hudlin said the way awards are given will change from category to category, but he did not address the team's plans.
"Some of them might not work, but we said let's just experiment and have the audience a little more on the edge of their seats," he said.
The 72nd Emmy Awards will air at 8 p.m. ET on ABC. Here is the full list of prime time Emmy nominees.