Emmy Producers Assure "Cutting Edge" Remote Telecast in Nominees Letter

"Our informal theme for the night is 'come as you are, but make an effort!'"
Kevork Djansezian/Getty Images

In a move that should come as a surprise to absolutely no one, the 2020 Emmys are officially going to be a remote affair. 

The Sept. 20 show is a looming reality, now that nominations have been announced — so to calm any concerns before they came up, producers (including host Jimmy Kimmel) sent out a letter to some of those nominees assuring them that they aren't expected to show up at the Microsoft Theatre. 

"At a time like this, we’re taking the opportunity to create a moment that is more relaxed, more entertaining, more enjoyable not only for you, but for the millions watching at home," reads the note.  "We are assembling a top notch team of technicians, producers and writers to work closely with Jimmy Kimmel and with you and your team, to make sure that we can film with you (and loved ones or whomever else you choose to be with) at your home, or another location of your choice."

The letter comes not only as phase two of Emmy voting is set to get underway but as cases of COVID-19 continue to hit new highs in Los Angeles County — erasing whatever slim chance there was of holding the Emmys in person. As neither ABC nor the TV Academy have confirmed plans for the show, and producers are said to still be juggling a few options for how it will go down, there are still quite a few moving parts. To that end, producers assured different technologies would be employed to make sure the telecast has a glossier look than the Zoom specials of early quarantine.   



Without a red carpet, the 2020 Emmys will also likely have a considerably different dress code. The letter addressed that as well. "Our informal theme for the night is 'come as you are, but make an effort,'" it reads. "If you want to be in formal wear, we’d love that, but equally if you’re in the UK and it’s 3am, perhaps you want to be in designer pajamas and record from your bed."

The 2019 Emmys hit an all-time audience low of just 6.9 million viewers, so the unconventional nature of this ceremony could very well boost interest — that and the fact that, come September, the options for new TV are going to be pretty slim. 

Neither The TV Academy or ABC could be immediately reached for comment. Read the full letter, first reported by Variety, below: 

Dear Nominees,

The producers of Emmys 2020 congratulate you on this incredible recognition of your work.

We’re delighted and honored to be producing the event on September 20th and have every intention of not only making sure that it is not compromised by this crazy moment in our lives, but that it is the most memorable Emmys ever and that you have a wonderful night. As you’ve probably guessed, we’re not going to be asking you to come to the Microsoft Theatre in downtown LA on September 20th. This year, it’s still going to be TV industry’s biggest night out… but we’ll come to you!

At a time like this, we’re taking the opportunity to create a moment that is more relaxed, more entertaining, more enjoyable not only for you, but for the millions watching at home. It’s still television’s highest honor, and we never want to lose the significance of being nominated for, and maybe winning, an Emmy, but we’re going to do in a way that is appropriate to the moment (and guarantees you a memorable night).

But we cannot ignore the circumstances, and aside from NOT being able to come together in one place, we also acknowledge that our world is going through a challenging moment in many ways. We’ll be producing an event that is filled with warmth and humanity, which celebrates the power of television to bring us together and to help us shape our world. You are an essential part of that story.So, what does this all mean for September 20th?

We are assembling a top notch team of technicians, producers and writers to work closely with Jimmy Kimmel and with you and your team, to make sure that we can film with you (and loved ones or whomever else you choose to be with) at your home, or another location of your choice. We’re going to make you look fabulous – we’re exploring the cutting edge of technology to allow to use good cameras and lighting and look forward to working with you to produce your unique “on screen” moments.

So, what are you wearing??? Our informal theme for the night is “come as you are, but make an effort!”

If you want to be in formal wear, we’d love that, but equally if you’re in the UK and it’s 3am, perhaps you want to be in designer pajamas and record from your bed! We want to work with you to style your moments, but want you to guide us on your levels of comfort – where you want to be, who you want to be with, what you want to wear etc.

In the forthcoming days, Jen Proctor, our Talent Producer and her extraordinary team at Cultivated Entertainment will be reaching out to you to start talking through the details.

Once again, congratulations.
With respect and admiration,
Jimmy Kimmel, Ian Stewart, Reggie Hudlin, Guy Carrington and David Jammy
Executive Producers, 72nd Primetime Emmy Awards