Summer TV Critics Press Tour Canceled

The organization is exploring virtual alternatives for the semi-annual event that sees scores of networks and select streamers present new and returning programming.
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A glimpse at what the winter 2020 TCA press tour looked like.

The Television Critics Association's summer press tour is the latest media event to be canceled amid the novel coronavirus pandemic.

The confab that sees scores of networks and select streamers present new and returning programming to a room filled with around 200 members of the press corps from all over the globe was scheduled to run July 28-Aug. 13 at the Langham Hotel in Pasadena. The TCA board, in a letter to members Friday, said it is working with networks to explore virtual alternatives during the original time frame and beyond. (Read the full note to members, below.)

As for the TCA Awards, presented annually at the end of the summer tour, a decision about that event has not been determined.

The semi-annual gathering sees scores of stars, writers, showrunners, producers and executives take the stage for a series of press conferences often designed to be a key part of a program or network's media blitz. 

The decision to cancel the summer TCA press tour comes as little surprise given that TV production remains at a standstill. Production on broadcast network pilots was completely disrupted, with only one of the more than 50 in contention able to be completed. With no pilots to screen, broadcast networks are increasingly likely to pick up shows based only on the strength of the scripts and assembled cast. And with no return date for when production can resume, networks were unlikely to have new programming to promote during the summer tour where fall shows take center stage.

The summer TCA tour is the latest event to be canceled as much of the nation remains under government-mandated Safer at Home guidelines. Without a clear path back to normalcy, conferences and festivals — like San Diego Comic-Con, E3 and the ATX Television Festival — across the country and calendar have been wiped out.

The TCA board's missive to members follow.

Dear TCA Members,

We are sad to announce that the 2020 TCA Summer press tour is canceled.

The board members are working with the networks to explore virtual alternatives both within the original press tour time frame and later in 2020. But, given the current state of television production, as of now, this is a cancellation not a postponement. 

We will be back to you as soon as possible with potential options from individual networks and with information about the TCA Awards.