UPDATED: MTV is holding off on this year’s MTV Movie & TV Awards for now, and is looking at moving the franchise to December for now on. The decision to move the event (rather than do a virtual edition) comes as it would have normally taken place this month.
Although it originally appeared that the MTV Movie & TV Awards was impacted by COVID-19 pandemic, as has many events this spring and summer, insiders told Variety that the network had been mulling a move of the show to December for some time. But COVID-19 put those plans on hold, and left the Movie & TV Awards in a bit of limbo as the network focused on other pressing issues.
The news also follows word that MTV is currently mulling a plan to air the Video Music Awards in August at the Barclays Center in Brooklyn, as Variety recently reported.
“We’re exploring with government officials, the medical community and key stakeholders on how to safely hold the 2020 VMAs at Barclays Center on August 30th,” an MTV spokesperson told Variety earlier this month. “The health of everyone involved is our number one priority. Additionally, we are working on several contingency plans to bring music’s biggest night to audiences everywhere.”
MTV never announced a firm date or plan this year for the Movie & TV Awards, but last year’s event was taped in Los Angeles on June 15, and aired June 17 on the channel. Zachary Levi hosted. Insiders tell Variety MTV is still hoping to bring back the telecast later in the year — depending, of course, on how where things stand (presumably, if movie premieres and TV production resumes). Should it not move forward, this would represent the first time MTV hasn’t held the awards show since the kudocast was launched in 1992.
MTV’s website and social media for the Movie & TV Awards still references that 2019 show, but doesn’t acknowledge any 2020 plans.
For most of its existence, the telecast was known as the MTV Movie Awards, taking advantage of the spring kickoff of the summer box office season. In 2017, the name was changed to the “MTV Movie & TV Awards” and included television series for the first time. Also that year, the network went gender-neutral, embracing a decision to merge male and female performers into singular categories.
In 2018, MTV moved the show to June, in order to capitalize on Emmy For Your Consideration campaign season on the TV side. The show also TV categories this year include best show and best performance in a show, intergrated TV and film into joint categories including “Best Hero,” “Best Villain,” “Best On-Screen Team,” “Best Comedic Performance” and “Scene Stealer.”
Last year, nominations were announced on May 14. Winners included “Avengers: Endgame” as best movie and “Game of Thrones” as best show, while “A Star is Born’s” Lady Gaga was named best movie performance, and “The Handmaid’s Tale’s” Elisabeth Moss was best TV show performance.
A move to December would change that strategy again, but place the Movie & TV Awards at the beginning of the movie awards campaign season — a crowded time of year for awards shows.
Among other Viacom networks, BET will move forward with a virtual edition of its eponymous awards on June 28.
Variety’s weekly Awards HQ newsletter first reported news of the MTV Movie & TV Awards postponement. Subscribe right now and make sure you receive timely awards news and analysis in your inbox every Monday! Go here, scroll down and make sure to select “Awards Season/Awards HQ.”
[Pictured: Lady Gaga at the 2018 MTV Movie & TV Awards.]