|John Michael Hill and Namir Smallwood
in Pass Over
(Credit: Jeremy Daniel)
Finally! The long delayed Tony Awards for the abortive 2019-20 Broadway season will be presented on Sept. 26 in a two-part ceremony. The main event will be a two-hour TV spectacular called The Tony Awards Present: Broadway's Back on CBS from 9-11pm. Only three awards will be presented: Best Musical, Best Play and Best Revival of a Play (there were no musical revival nominees.) The rest of the show will be taken up with musical numbers from classic shows and currently running ones. The bulk of the accolade distribution will be done from 7-9pm in a pre-broadcast ceremony available on the Paramount Plus streaming service.
This format has been done before. From 1997 to 2002, the show was split in two with "minor" awards being presented on PBS and the acting and top prizes distributed on CBS. (Even when the show went back to all the awards being presented on CBS in 2003, the majority of design and creative awards were handed out before the broadcast with short filmed excerpts played on the air.) Hopefully, this new split template with only three of the prizes given in the CBS portion will not be repeated. With ratings for the Tonys plunging drastically in recent years, a Paramount + streaming segment seems likely in the future. It's understandable that the Tonys would be different this year with a 15-month hiatus. CBS has a contract to air the Tonys until 2026. Let's hope they keep it and bring the award presentations back to the network part of the show.
Here is a rundown of the 2021-22 Broadway/Off-Broadway Season with opening dates listed: