Eligible TV Academy members have been participating in the nominations round of Emmy voting for nearly a week, but it’s not clear how (or when) the future winners might collect their trophies if Hollywood remains hobbled by the Writers Guild of America strike.
Less than three months ahead of the planned Sept. 18 ceremony and live telecast, sources say that organizers are actively discussing multiple contingency plans — including delaying the event altogether — if the town’s labor strife hasn’t been resolved later this summer.
The Emmys are, after all, one of the most writer-centric award shows on the calendar. The top prizes (outstanding drama, comedy and limited series) are generally accepted by showrunners. And, like all awards shows, the telecasts are largely shaped by a team of writers. The recent Tony Awards got away with an unscripted ceremony populated by Broadway stars, but such a version of the Emmys seems unlikely considering the working relationship between actors and writers that is so intrinsic to the medium of television.
The Emmys skirted interference from the previous writers strike in 2007-08, though the Golden Globes did fall into the three-month window. All pomp and circumstance were eighty-sixed in exchange for a press conference announcement of the winners.
Uncertainty seems to demand the discussion of other options. The WGA strike is approaching its third month. And while the Director’s Guild reached a tentative deal with the studios to renew their own contract, the Alliance of Motion Picture and Television Producers has yet to go back to the negotiations table with the writers. Similar talks have started between the studios and the actors guild, with SAG-AFTRA voting 97.91 percent in favor of a strike authorization if they don’t come to terms.
For now, the calendar goes on. The current round of voting wraps on June 26, with nominations set to be announced on July 12. The second and final round of voting is set to take place between Aug. 17 and Aug. 28. And while Fox has not named a host, the network did set Jesse Collins, Dionne Harmon and Jeannae Rouzan-Clay as the production team during the first month of the strike.