Like many things during the coronavirus pandemic, the 2020 ESPY Awards will have a unique look. Because of social distancing measures, this year’s award ceremony will be held remotely with a star-studded lineup of hosts.
Among the hosts for this year’s ceremony are Seattle Seahawks quarterback Russell Wilson, USWNT star Megan Rapinoe, and three-time WNBA champion Sue Bird.
The ceremony will take place on June 21 on ESPN with the show running two hours.
“We liked the idea of having athletes from diverse sports that represent something for every fan,” show producer Jeff Smith told The Hollywood Reporter by phone. “We’re finding ways to make this feel really connected to the audience. They’re so ready to reach out to this community.
“Typically, we are all shoulder to shoulder and looking through cuts and arguing through story ideas. We found a different way to connect with each other.”
To capture real-time reactions from the award winners, they will receive calls at the same time that the winners are publicly announced.
From the report:
The Arthur Ashe Award for Courage, the Pat Tillman Award for Service and Jimmy V Award for Perseverance are among the honors to be presented. But there won’t be the usual long acceptance speeches read off the teleprompter. The producers hope to show the winners getting a call informing them of the honor at the same time the audience finds out. That involves colluding with family and team members to lure them to a video screen at the appropriate moment.
It will be interesting to see how the remote hosting impacts the production of the show but we should all just appreciate the fact that live sports programming is returning sooner rather than later.