As the world faces a global pandemic, another major television event has been canceled: the Television Critics Assn. summer press tour.
While the TCA board members are working with networks to explore virtual alternatives to the usual in-person, ballroom-setting press panels, any such option would likely not take place during the usual July-August time frame for the summer tour. After all, the TCA press tours are used for networks to promote their new lineups, and with production halted indefinitely, there are far fewer shows to present at such an event.
Recently, the TCA’s summer press tour has taken place at the Beverly Hilton in Beverly Hills. This year the original plan was to move the gathering to the Langham Hotel in Pasadena, where the winter tour normally takes place.
The most recent tour promoted such winter and spring series as Amazon Prime Video’s “Homecoming” Season 2, FX on Hulu’s “Devs” and “Mrs. America,” and it also marked Apple TV Plus’ first time attending.
The summer tour also usually includes the TCA Awards; this year would have marked the 36th annual ceremony, celebrating outstanding achievements in current television, as well as lifetime career achievement and a Heritage Award. Last year’s big winner at the 35th annual ceremony was Amazon’s “Fleabag” which won for comedy series, program of the year and individual achievement in comedy for creator/star Phoebe Waller-Bridge. David Milch received the Career Achievement Award, and “Deadwood” received the Heritage Award.
Calfornia governor Gavin Newsom did ban large public gatherings through the summer, and this announcement comes just two weeks after San Diego Comic-Con announced its own cancelation.
The last time the TCA canceled a tour was the winter tour of 2008, due to the WGA strike.