In a move somewhat expected within the industry, NBC today announced that it will be broadcasting the 66th annual Emmy Awards ceremony in August, almost a month before it traditionally airs.
NBC made a similar decision back in 2010, the last time it served as Emmy host. The Jimmy Fallon hosted ceremony aired on Aug. 29, primarily because of NBC's ever present fall juggernaut known as NFL 'Sunday Night Football.' The NFL is one of the last highly rated properties the Peacock has, and they'll be damned if they're going to sacrifice airing a game in order to make room for an awards show that will draw roughly half of 'Sunday Night Football's audience. This will be only the fourth time the Emmys have aired outside of September since way back in 1992.
As uncommon as the Emmys airing in August is, that's not even the most notable part of this story. NBC has also taken the almost unprecendented step of moving TV's big night to a Monday. That's right, a major awards show will air live on the first work night of the average American's week. If that sounds like an odd prospect, it should. The Emmys haven't been held on a Monday in nearly 40 years, not since May 17, 1976, to be exact. Don't want to watch a three hour show on a Monday night? Blame the NFL. NBC thinks it may be able to score a game or two of 'Sunday Night Football' earlier than usual this year, and wants to leave all August and September Sundays open.
Every major awards program (and most of the minor ones) have been broadcast on the weekend for decades now, and one really has to wonder what effect this will have on the ratings for this year's ceremony. 2013's broadcast drew almost 20 million viewers, and I just have a hard time imagining that many people tuning in on a Monday.
The 66th annual Emmy Awards air on Monday, Aug. 25 at 8/7c. A host has yet to be announced.