Daytime Emmy Awards Cancelled Because of Coronavirus Pandemic

It should be no surprise at this point to learn that the Daytime Emmys ceremony -- a gathering of more than 50 people, of course -- has been cancelled in light of the COVID-19 novel coronavirus pandemic. Organizers said that they are already working on alternative ideas as to how they might celebrate the nominees and winners at some point later in 2020. The National Academy of Television Arts & Sciences announced the decision today, scuttling the first year that some major changes were to happen for the program. The plan was to play the awards out over three nights in June, not unlike how the primetime and creative arts ceremonies for the Emmys have been done for a while now.

There were other changes, too: the NATAS added Outstanding Young Adult Program, Outstanding Picture Editing for an Animated Program, and Outstanding Special Effects Costumes, Makeup and Hairstyling. Additionally, the Younger Actor and Younger Actress in a Drama Series categories have been combined into a singular non-gendered Younger Performer in a Drama Series.

"Given our concerns over the COVID-19 pandemic, we have decided that we will not be staging the 47th Annual Daytime Emmy Awards in Pasadena this coming June," NATAS chairman Terry O’Reilly said today. "As there are so many unknowns right now with the flow of information changing on a daily, almost hourly, basis, it would simply be irresponsible to move forward with our annual celebration of excellence in daytime television at this time."

"These were extremely difficult decisions to make, but at the end of the day the health and safety of our event attendees and staff must remain our paramount concern," NATAS president and CEO Adam Sharp told Deadline. "We are closely monitoring public heath authorities' guidance, seeking feedback from our awards communities, and evaluating the flexibility of our venue and production partners as we plan for the future in this unprecedented context."

The pandemic and resulting self-isolation around the country has had a crippling effect on the entertainment industry. Box office receipts have plummeted as theaters close their doors for indefinite periods of time, and film and TV productions have been put on hold in order to avoid spreading the virus. Meanwhile, projects that have already been completed are being delayed or, in some cases, released as direct-to-streaming projects.

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The COVID-19 novel coronavirus is seeing similar exponential growth in the United States right now to what happened in Italy a few weeks ago. That country has seen a spike in cases (and related fatalities), and the government has had to impose stricter quarantines and lockdowns.

Americans are living in a national state of emergency and in many states, all non-essential businesses have been ordered closed in order to assist in quarantining citizens to keep them from contacting the coronavirus. Movie theaters have been shut down and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention have issued guidelines that instruct Americans to avoid gatherings of more than 50 people.