From the Chairman

Hayma Washington, Chairman and Chief Executive Officer

Now that I am in my second year as chairman and CEO of the Television Academy, I find that I am more excited than ever about helping to meet the demands of this progressive and ambitious nonprofit organization.

I also look forward to our annual traditions. One of my favorites is the announcement of the Emmy Award nominees.

On the morning of July 12, I had the pleasure of participating in this year’s announcement ceremony, hosted by Samira Wiley, of the Emmy-winning Hulu drama The Handmaid’s Tale, and Ryan Eggold, of the upcoming NBC drama New Amsterdam, at the Wolf Theatre in the Academy’s Saban Media Center.

One reason I enjoy this event so much is its scale. There’s nothing like the splendor and spectacle of Emmy night, with thousands of guests gathered in a dazzling auditorium. But there’s also something great about the subdued atmosphere of the announcement ceremony, an experience shared in person by a few hundred guests and members of the media, making it feel almost cozy by comparison.

Although they differ in size and ambience, the two events have common elements, above and beyond the Emmys. Each is watched by millions of TV lovers across the globe, of course. But especially captivating, to me, are the buzz of anticipation, the suspense of uncertainty, the almost giddy sensation that anything can happen. In other words, the same elements that absorb us in a great story.

Which is fitting, because, as I noted in my remarks prior to the announcements, television provides an opportunity for storytellers to draw us in and tightly hold our attention. More broadly, one could say that stories fuel both the creative and commercial aspects of our industry. More broadly still, according to generations of scholars, storytelling is an essential, almost mystical phenomenon.

As the acclaimed journalist, author, screenwriter — and, yes, television writer — Joan Didion put it, “We tell ourselves stories in order to live.” The full story of this year’s Emmys — our 70th — is yet to be told, but based on growing voter engagement within the Academy and the enthusiasm surrounding this year’s nominations, it’s off to an exciting start.

If you haven’t already, please make note: the Creative Arts shows will be held Saturday, September 8, and Sunday, September 9 at the Microsoft Theater in Los Angeles. An edited telecast of the Creative Arts shows will air Saturday, September 15, at 8 p.m. on FXX.

The Emmy Awards telecast, hosted by Saturday Night Live’s Colin Jost and Michael Che, will air live on NBC on Monday, September 17 (8 p.m. Eastern, 5 p.m. Pacific), also from the Microsoft Theater.

Don’t forget to cast your votes by August 27 — and don’t forget to tune in and join us for the shows

Hayma Washington
Chairman and CEO Television Academy