With the coronavirus pandemic still raging, the Emmy Awards will once again break with tradition.
Since 2008, the Microsoft Theater in Los Angeles has hosted the annual television awards, but this year the ceremony will take place on LA Live’s Event Deck, a space that provides indoor and outdoor venues for the production.
Due to the social distancing between audience seats, only about 500 guests will attend Sunday’s ceremony, compared to several thousand in previous years, Maury McIntyre, the president of the Television Academy, told Variety.
Attendees will follow strict Covid-19 protocols during the ceremony that mimic the security measures on Hollywood sets. This includes testing all participants, mandating vaccinations and making sure everyone wears a mask when they’re not in front of the camera, Frank Scherma, president and CEO of the Television Academy, told Variety.
These mandates are similar to the mandates established at previous award ceremonies.
The show will also feature several satellite events which will reduce broadcasting if necessary. The cast and producers of the Netflix show “The Crown” are holding their own Emmy ceremony in London, much like the team behind “Schitt’s Creek” did during last year’s broadcast. Other shows that will be videoconferencing during the ceremony include “Top Chef” and “Jimmy Kimmel Live.”
With the smaller audience, the Television Academy plans to have attendees sit at tables and serve food and drinks. Usually this event takes place in a traditional theater, with the audience in rows.
“We want to do two things at once, make sure we have a safe environment for everyone who attended the show, but also let’s get out of the typical theater situation,” executive producer Reggie Hudlin told Variety.
“Let’s relax,” he said. “Let’s sit down at tables. Let’s have a little drink, let’s nibble a little. This is how we thought that would maximize the enjoyment for both the viewers and the people nominated. We’re going to have multiple stages, we “I’ll have projection screens. We’ll have chandeliers. And so we’ll make it look like a fun, fancy party you want to go to.”
In addition to host Cedric the Entertainer, there will be several musical performances, he said.
“We really want to give people a show,” Hudlin said. “There will be a lot of music. But the most important thing is hearing the winners, hearing their heartfelt testimony, hearing their humor, hearing their joy.”
The 73rd Annual Emmy Awards will take place Sunday, September 19 at 8 p.m. ET on CBS.
Read Variety’s full report.