This year’s Screen Actors Guild (SAG) Awards will be pre-taped and will air for just one hour.
The annual ceremony – which honours outstanding performances in television and film – typically spans several hours and a number of guests but this year, with many such events going virtual due to the coronavirus pandemic, bosses are planning to do something “unique” and hope to leave viewers wanting “more”.
Co-executive producer Todd Milliner told Variety: “We’re looking at trying to do a unique award ceremony in an hour and leave people saying, which they very rarely do [with an awards show], ‘Man, I wish we had more.’…
“It was a combination of, how do we do this, how do we acknowledge our peers, our members and the great performances they are giving — and still be respectful of the fact that there are a lot of people hurting in this country,”
The ceremony will also be recorded ahead of its broadcast on 4 April, with the nominees from each category gathered in their own Zoom rooms, where the winner will be announced and can give an acceptance speech.
Co-executive producer Kathy Connell said of the change: “We hope they respect the show enough and everybody does, and their fellow actors, that they don’t want to disappoint the audience at home by letting any surprises go.”
Although there won’t be a host, red carpet or even a set, the hour-long show will still incorporate comedy segments and its trademark “I Am An Actor” speeches, as well as the presentation of 13 awards and the In Memoriam tribute.
Todd said: “It is a jam-packed hour, and we’re still trying to rob from one part to give to another part. When you start parsing out that hour, we didn’t really have time for a stage.
“Honestly if none of the rest of the show was going to be live we thought, let’s put the rest of this time into those segments [such as ‘I Am An Actor’ and In Memoriam].”
For the “I Am An Actor” and presenter segments, two-person crews will film at the performers’ homes if possible, and laptops will be dispatched to those actors who are working and in production bubbles.
Co-executive producer Sean Hayes said: “SAG Awards is a project where everybody has to work together, so we respect all of those protocols that are in place just to make everybody feel safe.”
Among the stars who have agreed to sign up already are Sterling K. Brown, Daveed Digs, Ted Danson and Mary Steenburgen.
Todd said: “I can’t even tell you about a couple that we hope come together because it’s going to be fun.”