Daytime Emmys and Other NATAS Award Ceremonies to Remain Virtual in 2021

Michael Schneider
·5-min read

The National Academy of Television Arts & Sciences plans to keep with an all-virtual roster of awards — including the Daytime Emmys — in 2021.

The New York-based org made the announcement on Tuesday morning, which impacts the Sports Emmy Awards, the News & Documentary Emmys and the Technology & Engineering Emmys in addition to the Daytime Emmys. The West Coast-based Television Academy, which oversees the Primetime Emmys, hasn’t revealed its plans yet for 2021.

“The current timetables articulated by manufacturers project mass availability of vaccinations for the entire U.S. population by mid-summer 2021, potentially permitting a return to more traditional in-person ceremonies later in the fall,” said NATAS president/CEO Adam Sharp. “However, we have determined that delaying our 2021 events to possibly allow for a compressed calendar of in-person Emmy ceremonies late in the year would result in unacceptable delays to our awards cycle for 2022.”

The Daytime Emmys are expected to take place in virtual ceremonies in June and July 2021. Sharp said the org is considering two- and three-night formats, “across any combination of currently-considered dates: Friday June 25, Saturday July 17, Sunday July 18.”

Sharp said he believed that by sticking with a virtual 2021 calendar, that should allow NATAS to be “best-positioned to return to a full, on-time, traditional schedule of in-person ceremonies in 2022.”

Here is NATAS’ calendar for its major 2021 awards:

42nd Annual Sports Emmy Awards

Call for Entries: Wednesday, December 2, 2020
Final Entry Deadline: Monday, February 15, 2021
Nominations Announced: End of April 2021
Virtual Ceremony: Tuesday, June 8, 2021

48th Annual Daytime Emmy Awards

Call for Entries: Wednesday, January 6, 2021
Final Entry Deadline: Wednesday, February 17, 2021
Nominations Announced: May/June 2021
Virtual Ceremonies: June/July 2021
(Considering two- and three-night formats, across any combination
of currently-considered dates: F 6/25/21, Sa 7/17/21, Su 7/18/21.)

42nd Annual News & Documentary Emmy Awards

Call for Entries: Thursday, February 11, 2021
Final Entry Deadline: Thursday, April 8, 2021
Nominations Announced: End of July 2021
Virtual Ceremonies:
Tuesday, September 21, 2021 (News Categories)
Wednesday, September 22, 2021 (Documentary Categories)

72nd Annual Technology & Engineering Emmy Awards

Recipients Announced: January 2021
Virtual Ceremony: Recognition throughout the year,
with a special program during the NAB Show, Sunday, October 10, 2021

Sharp hinted to Variety last month, in a joint summit with his Television Academy counterpart Maury McIntyre, that maintaining virtual events in 2021 was likely. In particular, the Daytime Emmys falls mid-year, when a vaccine isn’t expected to be widely available just yet.

“I think you’ll probably see a lot more carryover of some things from 2021, trying to get back to a little bit of normal at least on competition calendar stuff, and have at least some degree of virtual events that allows us to do some parts of our business in the early part of the year,” he said at the time.

Meanwhile, the Television Academy is expected to reveal its 2021 calendar in the coming weeks. “The two immediate questions for us really is what’s the eligibility period, will that change, and what’s going to go on for FYC campaigning,” McIntyre said at the time. “There’s no current plan to change eligibility but we’re going to keep watching what’s going on and how quickly shows come back. We’ll evaluate whether it makes sense to keep the eligibility period exactly as it is supposed to be. [As for] the FYC campaign, I just simply don’t see that anyone is going to be in a position to be able to pull large crowds together in Los Angeles, regardless of where we are with the vaccine. Within the next month or two, we will come out with a decision in terms of how we see the official FYC campaign season operating so that it’s fair for everyone.”

Here is the full letter from Sharp:

To Our Emmy® Community —

We at the National Academy of Television Arts & Sciences stand in awe of and gratitude for your resilience in the face of what has been — and continues to be — one of the most challenging times in the history of the television industry. This awful pandemic has taken from us cherished friends and loved ones, left many more without meaningful income, and forever transformed how we think about our workplaces and public gatherings.

Like many of you, we hunger for a return to some semblance of normalcy. The latest news on multiple vaccines nearing approval is promising. For NATAS, it is an encouraging sign that the ultimate “normal” — a return to in-person ceremonies — may be on the horizon.

The current timetables articulated by manufacturers project mass availability of vaccinations for the entire U.S. population by mid-summer 2021, potentially permitting a return to more traditional in-person ceremonies later in the fall. However, we have determined that delaying our 2021 events to possibly allow for a compressed calendar of in-person Emmy® ceremonies late in the year would result in unacceptable delays to our awards cycle for 2022.

Instead, we have decided to remain “virtual” in the format of our ceremonies for 2021 while relying on a substantially pre-COVID awards calendar. In so doing, we believe we will be best-positioned to return to a full, on-time, traditional schedule of in-person ceremonies in 2022.

Stay tuned for additional emails with more details for your specific competition, including full rules and category descriptions, early deadlines, entry fees, and other information.

Despite being born of unintended necessity, our 2020 ceremonies proved to be among our best. We hope to build on this creative success in making the 2021 virtual gatherings even more inclusive and engaging celebrations of excellence. Looking ahead to 2022, we’ve already started booking venues and can’t wait to welcome you back in person!

Thank you for all your ongoing support of the Emmy® Awards and for the continuity and comfort you provide our shared television audience in this challenging time. Stay safe, take care, and keep up the excellent work.

Best wishes,
Adam Sharp
President & CEO
The National Academy of Television Arts & Sciences, Inc.

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