Emmys Scaled Back Because of COVID-19 ‘Explosion’ in Los Angeles

Emmy Awards statue outside Nokia Theater L.A. Live. From the Emmys on September 23, 2012 in Los Angeles, California. (Credit: Shutterstock)

Next Month’s Emmys will look different than initially planned because of a surge in COVID-19 cases in Los Angeles County.

The Sept. 19 ceremony was originally scheduled to take place at the Microsoft Theater in downtown L.A, but the Television Academy announced Tuesday the show will instead move outdoors to the adjacent L.A. Live Event Deck following discussions with local health experts.

“The health and safety of our nominees is of paramount importance,” the Academy said in a statement. “Conversations are ongoing, and we will provide further information as it is available. The Television Academy appreciates everyone’s understanding as we continue to navigate the COVID-19 Delta variant.”

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Emmy organizers said the move will allow for an “indoor/outdoor setting and more socially distanced audience seating.”

Unfortunately, that means fewer people will be allowed to attend.

“Although invitations have just been mailed out, nominated teams of three or more will now be limited to no more than four tickets per nomination,” the organization explained. “We recommend those on nominated teams coordinate between themselves and identify how they will allot their four tickets prior to filling out the RSVP form. The Television Academy will reach out to any nominated teams who have already responded requesting more than four tickets.”

The Creative Arts Emmys, where most of the awards are handed out, will also be scaled back. The Creative Arts Emmys will be held from Sept. 11-12. Actor and comedian Cedric the Entertainer will host the 73rd Emmys, which air live at 5pm PT/8pm ET on CBS Sept. 19.

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The Emmy announcement came after Los Angeles County Public Health Director, Dr. Barbara Ferrer, warned earlier in the day that the county is facing an “explosion” in COVID-19 infections because of the Delta variant.

“This variant, you know, affects many more people at a time. One person can infect many more people at a time if they’re infected with the Delta variant, and that’s all we’re seeing is the delta variant,” Ferrer told the Board of Supervisors. “So with this explosion in cases, the best strategy right now from our perspective is to double-down on getting more and more people vaccinated.”