Don’t call it the ‘Zoomies’! TV’s Emmy Awards swap high-fives for virtual show

Don’t call it the ‘Zoomies’! TV’s Emmy Awards swap high-fives for virtual show

Television’s Emmy Awards usually provide a night of hugs, high-fives and glamorous stars posing on the red carpet, but the coronavirus pandemic will make for a very different virtual-only ceremony on Sunday. Jimmy Kimmel will host from a stage in the Staples Center in downtown Los Angeles, telling jokes without the usual packed audience of celebrities. Only production staff and a handful of stars will be allowed in. The red carpet was canceled. Still, producers said the show, broadcast live on Walt Disney Co’s ABC network, aims to provide a celebratory feel for the industry’s highest honors. Hoping to avoid the feel of a stilted Zoom call, staff shipped dozens of movie-quality cameras, lights and microphones to capture live and spontaneous reactions from winners in their living rooms. Producers will monitor 130 live feeds from about 20 cities, including Los Angeles, New York, London, Tel Aviv and Berlin. “They don’t want it to be the ‘Zoomies,’” said Michael Schneider, senior editor at Variety. “They want to avoid that look, and have it look like a regular production.” Television audiences for awards shows have slumped in recent years. Last year’s Emmys drew a record-low viewership of 6.9 million. Producers hope the unpredictability of this year’s format will draw interest, and they admit things might go wrong. “Think about having a Zoom with your family and how complicated that is, getting grandma to look at the camera and have her whole face on camera,” Kimmel quipped in a promotional video ...
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