The 48th Annual Daytime Emmy Awards took place on Friday night, June 25, 2021, but there are still awards to be handed out that will honor the best and brightest of 2020. On Saturday, July 17, and Sunday, July 18, additional Daytime Emmy Awards will be distributed honoring Children’s Programming & Animation and also, Lifestyle Programming (which includes Digital Drama Series).
The Inside Scoop on the Daytime Emmys
Soap Hub chatted with Adam Sharp, the President/CEO of the National Academy of Television Arts & Sciences (NATAS), who provided insights into this year’s awards which saw the Daytime Emmys back on CBS for the second year in a row. Read on for the scoop!
Soap Hub: How did getting the awards back on CBS for the second year in a row — and next year — come about?
Adam Sharp: We believe the audience is still excited and engaged about the Daytime Emmys. We asked how can we rebuild this franchise? That led to a two-year deal with CBS, which is conveying to the community that [the awards show] is not just a “COVID seat filler.” There were naysayers who thought we were only back on the air because the network had time to fill. But it was very important for the community to see that statement of support with a two-year deal.
This year’s show had more of an in-person feel to it than last year’s.
We’re not quite there with the pandemic [not being over] but we’re more there than we were a year ago. Our team [at NATAS] and ATI [Associated Television International], our production partner, really tried to say how can we leverage technology to bring as much of the “non-pandemic” big award show experience to life. The goal was for the audience at home to experience the full award show experience as much as possible.
Ideally, in addition to honoring the best of last year, does the awards show try to bring in new viewers to the genre?
People tend to oversimplify that we “give out gold trophies” but for us, the mandate is much broader. The show is about showcasing the best that TV has to offer. There were some really compelling storylines that we saw this past year that families can relate to – Alzheimer’s [on both General Hospital and The Young and the Restless] and opioid addiction and mental illness [on The Bold and the Beautiful].
At the Oscars, it’s a tradition that last year’s Best Actress winner presents the award for Best Actor to the current winner (and vice versa). The Daytime Emmys have done that in the past, but not this year?
We have done that but it hasn’t been a consistent thing for us…Jason [Thompson, Billy on Y&R, last year’s winner for Outstanding Performance by an Actor in a Drama Series] wasn’t in town. That made symmetry impossible. We did have Heather Tom [Katie, B&B, last year’s winner for Outstanding Performance by an Actress in a Drama Series] as a presenter this year.
Why were there not Lifetime Achievement Award recipients the last two years?
We hit pause on that due to COVID. We have one opportunity to make this the distinctive honor of their life. We’re going to save that for when they can be in the room surrounded by their colleagues, look around, take it in, and see everyone toast them.
What does diehard soap fan Sheryl Underwood (The Talk) bring as host of the show?
Sheryl has an intimate understanding of the show, the community, and the spirit we’re trying to convey. When we shot her elements of the show, she’d give us a full plot synopsis of the person she’d just introduced once we were on a break. We could produce an entire show with just Sheryl’s commentary. She nailed it. The audience can tell when the host is a fan like they are.
If you missed The 48th Annual Daytime Emmy Awards on Friday night, you can view them on CBS.com or the streaming app Paramount+. To see the ceremonies awarding more Daytime Emmys next month, check out the Emmys app.