Daytime Emmys: What to Expect as the Telecast Returns Live, With Some Major Changes

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The 49th annual Daytime Emmys are back in a full theater for the first time in three years, but that’s not the only major change that TV viewers will notice when the ceremony airs on Friday, June 24.

For starters, the drama category is finally a bit more competitive, having landed a fifth nominee (which hasn’t happened since 2014), the “Days of Our Lives” spinoff “Beyond Salem.” It faces off against usual entrants “General Hospital,” “The Young and the Restless,” “The Bold and the Beautiful” and “Days.” This is also the inaugural year for the Children’s & Family Emmys, which means those categories have been moved to later in the year.

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As a result, the show will be “a bit more focused,” says National Academy of Television Arts and Sciences president and CEO Adam Sharp. “The telecast will be very squarely focused on the dramas, talk shows and game shows.”

Meanwhile, other genres will be grouped together for the Creative Arts and Lifestyle Daytime Emmys, presented on June 18, a week before the main ceremony.

For 2022, CBS’ “The Young and the Restless” received the most Daytime Emmy nominations, with 18, followed by ABC’s “General Hospital” with 17. Among outlets, syndicated fare earned the top tally with 48 noms for various program distributors, followed by ABC and CBS, tied at 31 apiece.

Both Daytime Emmy events are back at the Pasadena Civic Auditorium. The Creative Arts and Lifestyle Daytime Emmys will be streamed on NATAS’ Emmys app, while the main telecast is on CBS and Paramount+, which reps the show’s return to live broadcast TV — after pre-taped dry runs in 2020 and 2021.

This marks another milestone, too. By the mid-2010s, the telecast had been relegated to online streams, and it wasn’t clear if the event would ever make its way back to primetime. But CBS, which as of this year will have aired the Daytime Emmys 16 times, decided to give the telecast another shot and picked it up again in 2020.

Due to the COVID-19 pandemic, the 2020 show was virtual and filmed in the homes of the host, presenters and winners. Last year, a pre-taped, downsized event was staged in Burbank. Now, with the audience back and the show once again live, “hopefully that that excitement conveys to the viewers,” Sharp says. “I think you’ll see us try to put a lot of that interaction on display.”

On the flip side, there’s the challenge of producing a live, in-person show and keeping it flowing on time. “One of [the challenges] being the sheer amount of time you spend with people walking from their seats to the stage,” Sharp says. “To the extent that there were benefits to the virtual format, it was the ability to keep it tight. So we will be looking at how to strike that balance.”

One change is to limit the two hour broadcast to 14 categories, four fewer than 2021’s pre-taped event. Also new: “Entertainment Tonight” anchors Kevin Frazier and Nischelle Turner will host, taking over for “The Talk” panelist Sheryl Underwood, who had previously hosted the show the most in recent years — either by herself, with her “Talk” co-stars or with Mario Lopez.

The 2022 Daytime Emmys also come in the midst of an awards realignment between NATAS and the Los Angeles-based Television Academy. As both orgs move away from day part distinctions and focus more on genre, discussions are ongoing to streamline certain categories in both the Primetime and Daytime ceremonies. Among those genres that may see a shift next year are game shows and DIY/instructional programming.

One thing won’t change: the name will stay. “I think daytime is no longer applied specifically to programming that airs in that time of day, but rather a suite of programs and genres and forms of storytelling and entertainment that we let into our lives in a way that is different than what we consider primetime programming,” he says.

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