"Of course it will," he tells Deadline, adding: "It doesn’t mean there aren’t still going to be a lot of people watching. I mean, television is the lowest rated it has been. You look at some of the ratings you see in prime time now, I mean, people would be jumping out of buildings if you got ratings like this 10 years ago. I just think there is so much competition. There are so many other things to watch. There’s so much great stuff on TV. I don’t think it has anything to do with anything other than that, and I mean, really, if you think about it, these shows were our only choice, and you know, somebody decided to stop doing it, but out of courtesy they used to not have football games on opposite the Emmys, you know, as just industry courtesy, and that stopped, what, like, 5 or 6 years ago? To me, it’s never about the ratings, because if that’s what you’re focused on, you’re screwed. For me, it’s just try to make it as good a show as possible from beginning to end. Try to keep the audience with you, and you know, if all that works, it’s great, and if it doesn’t, what are you going to do? Fewer people are watching network television. It’s as simple as that.”
Jimmy Kimmel promises a different and more fun Emmys because of the uncertainty: "We are asking our nominees and our presenters to help make the show fun," he says. "And I always approach this — and even when I’m not hosting the show — as it’s almost like our industry talent show every year, and we’re all responsible for making it fun. And I think that’s how most of the presenters approach it. And the show is not about me. It’s not my talk show. It’s about all these people who are nominated for all these great shows. And everybody wants to be funny. And everyone’s got a lot of time on their hands right now. And if you’re one of those people who’s bored by award shows because you feel like they’re all the same, which let’s be honest, most of them are, this one is not going to be the same. This one is going to be very, very different from others. And hopefully we’ll never do this again."
Kimmel says "we are heavily relying on Wi-Fi for this Emmys — more than any show ever has before": Kimmel, who signed on to host the Emmys before the pandemic, says of the potential for failure: "I have a weird masochistic streak where I enjoy putting myself in difficult situations. So if the worst happens and it all breaks down, there will definitely be a part of me that is amused by it. I sometimes step outside my body and laugh at myself. So whatever happens, it’ll be OK. I mean, it’s just a television show. It’s not like I’m flying a jet."
Kimmel expects television to become smaller in the aftermath of the pandemic: Asked about the realization that shows could still go on without sets or audiences, Kimmel says: "I wouldn’t say I’m actually worried about it, but I do think that the future is smaller when it comes to television and television shows. And I think that that’s just going to be the way it is. Because a lot of it is show business and we don’t seem to be as interested in show business anymore now that we have TikTok and Instagram. I guess in a way, if you think about the ’40s and ’50s, even how people spoke in movies, it became more natural as the years went on. It’s kind of like that."