The Tony Awards–short for the Antoinette Perry Awards for Excellence in Theatre–are presented in recognition of excellence in Broadway productions. The awards were founded in 1947, but weren't broadcast nationally until 1967, when they premiered as an hour-long special on ABC. The broadcast switched to NBC for three years, then returned to ABC until CBS took over in 1978. CBS has broadcast the awards ceremony ever since, though from 1997-2002, the first hour of the awards ceremony were broadcast on PBC, while the final two hours were televised by CBS; the show is now three hours entirely on CBS. There were only eleven awards in 1947, but there are now 25 awards, with several additional special awards.
The 69th Annual Tony Awards hosted by Alan Cumming is live tonight from Radio City Music Hall in New York City, New York. There will be special performances by Brian d'Arcy James, Christian Borle, Kelsey Grammer, Kristin Chenoweth, Tyne Daly & Vanessa Hudgens.