You will be redirected back to your article in seconds

CBS, Recording Academy Set Unconventional Plan for Grammy Noms Announcement

Call it the Grammy nominations treasure hunt.

CBS and the Recording Academy are hatching a highly unconventional plan to turn the Dec. 5 Grammy nominations announcement into a day-long media stunt. The details are still being hammered out, but the goal is to unveil noms in various categories bit by bit throughout the day on a range of CBS programs and digital platforms, culminating with the announcement of album of the year nominees in the hourlong “A Very Grammy Christmas” primetime special that night.

“Throughout the day fans will get little kernels of Grammy nominations news on different platforms,” Jack Sussman, CBS’ exec VP of specials, music and live events, told Variety. “We’ll be reaching out to fans all day to give them information that will hopefully lead them to the special at 9 o’clock that night.”

The Recording Academy confirmed that the full list of nominees other than the album of the year nominees will be released through traditional media channels early in the morning on Dec. 5.

The Recording Academy and CBS already broke with kudocast tradition in 2008 when they scrapped the early-morning nominations announcement in favor of a live primetime special featuring musical performances.

“The Grammy Nominations Concert Live” special aired live in East Coast markets at 10 p.m., which meant a less-than-ideal 7 p.m. airing on the West Coast. Given the modest overall ratings for the special and logistical challenges of coordinating the live announcement, the Recording Acad and CBS execs decided to try a different approach this year to capitalize on the holiday timing of the news.

Nothing is set in stone yet, but the thinking is that high-profile Grammy categories will be sprinkled into CBS shows on Dec. 5 including “CBS This Morning,” “The Talk,” “Entertainment Tonight” along with a host of digital and social media platforms. Prominent artists will likely be enlisted for appearances to disclose the nominees.

The effort to squeeze more media attention and viewer engagement out of the nominations announcement underscores the high degree of collaboration between CBS and the Recording Academy on all things Grammy. CBS pays the Recording Acad more than $20 million a year to carry the Grammycast, and it has every incentive to make the most out of that investment, even if some in the music biz are critical of the focus on making the Grammys a TV event first and foremost. The network’s current deal for Grammys runs through 2021.

The “Grammy Christmas” special will be taped Nov. 18 at the Shrine Auditorium in Los Angeles. It will air at 9 p.m. nationally (8 p.m. in Mountain and Central time zones).

Ariana Grande, Tim McGraw, Maroon 5 and Pharrell Williams are among the artists set to perform on the special, with a few more acts to come. The special will blend musical performances with a conversation among the artists talking about their lives and how they made it in the music biz.

“Ultimately what people want to connect with is real stories and great music,” Sussman said. “We want to kick off Grammy season with an event that lets fans hear music and hear heartfelt, engaging stories.”

The plan is that after the musical numbers are taped at the Shrine, the artists will sit together on the stage and swap stories for the conversation portion of the special. Ken Ehrlich, a Grammy kudocast vet, is exec producing for AEG Ehrlich Ventures.

The Feb. 8 Grammycast has a high bar to reach ratings-wise after this year’s telecast grabbed nearly 29 million viewers.

CORRECTION: The Recording Academy confirms that a list of 82 of the 83 Grammy Awards categories will be released early on Dec. 5, with only the album of the year nominees held back until the end of the primetime special.


More Music

  • Concert Review: Yoko Ono Saluted By

    Concert Review: Yoko Ono Earns a Wide-Ranging, All-Female Salute at Disney Hall

    Yoko One was — is — nothing if not an artist of many facets, as someone who started out in the most avant-garde corners of the visual and performance art worlds and ended up having a flair for conventional pop songwriting. Both sides, the disrupter and the sentimentalist, were celebrated in a wide-ranging tribute concert [...]

  • NF_D_JGN-D6-2160.cr2

    Film Review: 'The Dirt'

    A long time ago, the words sex, drugs, and rock ‘n’ roll carried a hint of danger. The lifestyle did, too, but I’m talking about the phrase. It used to sound cool (back around the time the word “cool” sounded cool). But sex, drugs, and rock ‘n’ roll has long since passed into the realm [...]

  • James Newton Howard Danny Elfman

    New Trend in Concert Halls: Original Music by Movie Composers — No Film Required

    Movie and TV composers are in greater demand than ever for, surprisingly, new music for the concert hall. For decades, concert commissions for film composers were few and far between. The increasing popularity of John Williams’ film music, and his visibility as conductor of the Boston Pops in the 1980s and ’90s, led to his [...]

  • Jonathan Lamy RIAA

    Jonathan Lamy Stepping Down From RIAA

    Jonathan Lamy, the Recording Industry Association of America’s longtime executive VP of communications and marketing, is stepping down from his post after 17 years, he announced today. As he put it in an email to Variety, “I started back in 2002, which means it’s been 17+ years, four different RIAA CEOs, three format changes and [...]

  • Suzi Quatro

    Suzi Quatro on Being a Pioneering Female Rocker: 'Women Have Balls!'

    For Suzi Quatro, portraying intimidating rocker chick Leather Tuscadero on the 1970s sitcom “Happy Days” was art imitating life. A veteran musician who came up in the rough and tumble rock scene of 1960s Detroit, her tough-but-sexy small-screen persona wasn’t an act, and it’s served Quatro well in her pioneering role as arguably the first [...]

More From Our Brands

Access exclusive content