The Academy had already offered networks and studios the option of throwing FYC events without a live audience/membership attendance, but in the immediate future that will now be the only option. The decision to stop in-person events is effective through the end of FYC season — June 14, 2020. The ruling likely puts a halt to pop-up event spaces like Netflix’s “FYSee” installation and Amazon Prime Video’s usual event space at the Hollywood Athletic Club as well.
“Should the virus be contained, we will contemplate a truncated FYC event season with an audience in hopes that we can accommodate partners impacted by early cancellations,” the org said in an email to networks and studios. “Those potential plans will be rolled out as we are able to confirm next steps.”
The Academy has also agreed to waive cancellation fees for FYC events that are currently contracted, for which email invitations have yet to be sent.
In addition, the Academy announced it would suspending all member activities for the months of March and April. This includes all member events, peer group meetings/events, and Film Group screenings. In a letter to members, the org said it “will advise when circumstances permit a resumption of Academy programs.”
Already, several networks and studios had opted to cancel various Emmy-related gatherings; most recently, Discovery Channel had put the breaks on a New York event scheduled this Monday for the nature series “Serengeti.”
Per a note that the org sent network and studio partners on Tuesday, live streaming events/panel discussions without an audience must still be on the same date and time as originally reserved, unless other slots have become available. (And it’s likely plenty of slots will become available as several events are outright canceled).
Also, networks/studios will be given the option of simply recording an event/panel discussion without an audience to post at a later date, with flexible timing.
The TV Academy will still charge for those live stream or taped events without an audience, but reduce the fee to $3,500 (from $4,500). The fee includes the production and distribution of an FYC email noting the livestream date and time (or when the recorded panel will be posted), plus a reminder email to tune-in or watch.
Livestreamed or taped events from the TV Academy’s Wolf Theatre in North Hollywood will be required to use the org’s own in-house tech staff to produce and livestream the event. Those services, plus rental of the theater, will cost $17,500, in addition to the $3,500 administration fee.
The decision to cancel all in-person FYC events comes as the TV Academy had previously been instilling limits to such gatherings, banning autographs, selfies, meet-and-greets and questions from the audience. The org also had strongly recommended that additional catering staff be hired to service food and beverage stations to avoid guest contact with serving pieces.
Netflix had canceled its first event of the season, for “Lost in Space,” while Lifetime halted its gatherings, including ones for “Surviving R. Kelly Part II: The Reckoning” in New York and “The Clark Sisters” and “Patsy & Loretta” in Los Angeles.
FYC events that had still been on the calendar, and will now be halted include one this Sunday for Netflix’s “Tiger King,” as well as ones next week for Netflix’s “Self Made: Inspired by the Life of Madam C.J. Walker,” and AMC’s “Quiz.”
The FYC event suspension came on the same day as most of the networks canceled their May upfront presentations and the West Coast late night talk shows joined their East Coast counterparts in eliminating studio audiences, among other news.
Here is the message sent to TV Academy members:
Based on recent recommendations from the California Department of Public Health and the New York Department of Health, it is important that the Television Academy does its part to help slow the spread of the COVID-19 virus. As a result, we are enacting the following, effective immediately:
• FYC events will be live-streamed or recorded without an audience. This requirement is being implemented for the safety and health of ALL participants and is in effect for ALL Emmy For Your Consideration Events (throughout the country) during the entire FYC season (through June 14, 2020).
• Live-streamed events will be made available for viewing via partner sites, social platforms and on the Television Academy’s hosted events page. Recorded events will be available on either the Partner’s FYC site, or on the Academy’s FYC Viewing Platform.
• Similar to in-person events, an invitation will be sent to all National Active Members with time, viewing site(s) and instructions to access.
In addition to these steps being taken for FYC events, the Academy is suspending all member activities for the months of March and April. This includes all member events, peer group meetings/events, and Film Group screenings. We will advise when circumstances permit a resumption of Academy programs.
We thank you in advance for your cooperation and, as always, we will continue to review recommendations from the Centers for Disease Control (CDC) and the and state and local Departments of Public Health.
The Television Academy