A Streaming First: Paramount+ To Present Broadway's Tony Awards

Entertainment history will be made on Sept. 26 when the Tony Awards ceremony mostly bypasses a television broadcast and airs on the Paramount+ streaming service.

What Happened: The Tony Awards ceremony will focus on the Broadway productions of the truncated 2019-2020 season; the nominations were announced last October. The COVID-19 pandemic forced the postponement of the ceremony while New York’s celebrated theaters were shut down during the health crisis.

According to a New York Post report, Paramount+ will stream nearly all of the awards to be presented before the ceremony switches to CBS for a special titled “The Tony Awards Present: Broadway’s Back!". The telecast will feature performances from shows nominated for Best Musical — “Moulin Rouge!,” “Jagged Little Pill” and “Tina – The Tina Turner Musical” — and include the Best Musical, Best Play and Best Revival of a Play awards presentations.

Paramount+ and CBS are subsidiaries of ViacomCBS Inc VIACA.

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Why It Matters: Recent entertainment award shows have been experiencing record low ratings. Last month’s Academy Awards telecast received the ratings equivalent of a Razzie Award, with the lowest viewership audience since data tracking began in 1974, while March’s Grammy Awards, February's Golden Globes Awards and last September's Emmy Awards also recorded the smallest audience numbers in their respective histories.

The Tony Awards have traditionally generated some of the smallest ratings in this genre. The last telecast, hosted by James Corden in June 2019, had less than 5.5 million total viewers, down 20% from the previous year to a five-year low.

Broadway’s transition into a post-pandemic era will kick off Sept. 2 when “Hadestown,” the winner of the 2019 Best Musical Award, resumes performances.

(Photo courtesy of TonyAwards.com.)

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