Critics Choice Awards Eyes Late February or March; Voting Dates Pushed

The Critics Choice Association says its postponement of the Critics Choice Awards will last at least six weeks, moving the show into late February or March. In a note to members on Thursday, the org said it will also require both vaccines and boosters of all attendees and staff when it is rescheduled.

Also, because the show has been moved into later in the awards season, voting dates will be pushed, too, “to be consistent with our tradition of having the final round voting in the days just before our awards ceremony,” the group said. “We expect to announce these dates shortly, but final voting for the upcoming awards will not take place before mid-February at the earliest.”

The Critics Choice Assn. announced on Wednesday that it was not moving ahead with its planned awards ceremony on Sunday, January 9, given concerns over COVID-19 and the fast-spreading omicron variant. That came just days after it had sent out a statement proclaiming that the show would go on as planned. But a lot has happened in the last three days, as COVID-19 hospitalizations have dramatically increased in Los Angeles County and multiple Hollywood and New York entities have canceled or postponed their events.

According to the Critics Choice Assn., it was looking at having to hold the Critics Choice Awards show without any members in attendance: “That was what we were looking at after talking with officials from the Los Angeles Country Public Health Department last week,” the org wrote in the letter. “With COVID-19 surging and prospects for things getting a lot worse before they get better, health officials urged us to cut back on the number of attendees and to discourage members from traveling to our event on January 9. In practical terms, this meant that virtually no members would be in the main room at the Fairmont Century Plaza.”

But even in late February or early March, the org said it won’t have room to accommodate all of its members, and some of them will have to volunteer to watch the show from an adjoining ballroom. The association is also considering holding a member lottery to determine who gets seats in the main ballroom (but, it added, all members will be invited to the pre- and post-event festivities).

“It is central to the Critics Choice Awards and the Critics Choice Association to have a substantial number of members in the main room with the honorees and studio executives,” the org said..

This year’s Critics Choice Awards winners were set to be revealed by hosts Taye Diggs and Nicole Byer on Sunday, Jan. 9. The ceremony will still broadcast live in person on The CW and TBS when the event finally happens.

“After thoughtful consideration and candid conversations with our partners at The CW and TBS, we have collectively come to the conclusion that the prudent and responsible decision at this point is to postpone the 27th Annual Critics Choice Awards, originally slated for January 9, 2022,” the org said on Wednesday. “We are in regular communication with LA County Public Health officials, and we are currently working diligently to find a new date during the upcoming awards season in which to host our annual gala in-person with everyone’s safety and health remaining our top priority. We will be sharing additional details with our friends and colleagues throughout the entertainment industry as soon as we can.”

Here is the letter sent to Critics Choice Association members on Thursday:

A Critics Choice Awards show with no critics in the room?

That was what we were looking at after talking with officials from the Los Angeles Country Public Health Department last week. With COVID-19 surging and prospects for things getting a lot worse before they get better, health officials urged us to cut back on the number of attendees and to discourage members from traveling to our event on January 9. In practical terms, this meant that virtually no members would be in the main room at the Fairmont Century Plaza.

So we have postponed the 27th annual Critics Choice Awards for at least six weeks, in the hope that in late February or March our honorees and our studio friends will be safer at our event and conditions will have improved enough for our awards show to be a true celebration of the finest film and television achievements of 2021 without the cloud of health and safety concerns spoiling the fun. And with CCA members in attendance.

Seating for members at the show will still have challenges. Our membership has grown from 44 to more than 500 and it is not physically possible to accommodate all members (and their guests) in the main room. We will still be asking members to volunteer to watch the show from an adjoining ballroom or otherwise participate in a lottery for seats in the main ballroom (with all attending members being invited to pre and post show festivities). But it is central to the Critics Choice Awards and the Critics Choice Association to have a substantial number of members in the main room with the honorees and studio executives.

At the urging of health officials, we will be requiring vaccines AND boosters of all attendees and staff at the Critics Choice Awards when it is rescheduled.

And we will be moving our voting dates, too, to be consistent with our tradition of having the final round voting in the days just before our awards ceremony. We expect to announce these dates shortly, but final voting for the upcoming awards will not take place before mid-February at the earliest.

Finally, thank you for your patience and understanding as we overcome the challenges of COVID-19 and – when we can do it safely – celebrate the 27th annual Critics Choice Awards.

Onward and upward!