"Splitting the traditional three hours into four and somehow coming up with the right math, Tony organizers, Paramount+ and CBS presented a two-hour livestreamed 74th Annual Tony Awards and, immediately following, the two-hour broadcast concert special The Tony Awards Present: Broadway’s Back!," says Greg Evans. "The approach worked remarkably well. The no-nonsense presentation of award announcements and acceptance speeches was followed by a lively special that impressively showcased contemporary Broadway musicals on their home turfs and classic reunions that felt fresh and welcome. Perhaps best of all, both portions of the evening were emceed by hosts who avoided entirely the tired combination of snark, smarm and insider smirk that has been de rigueur on the Oscars and Emmys for more than a decade now. Audra McDonald hosted the awards portion with elegance and charm, while Leslie Odom Jr. handled the CBS special with a likability and panache that was perfectly suited to Broadway’s homecoming."
The Tonys deserve to win multiple Emmys next year: "A night married with celebration, inclusivity and in what can only be described as the realization that Jesus Christ returned to save us all in the form of Jennifer Holliday — it was a sensational awards ceremony that may have offered all the critical clues to constructing a new age of honoring top achievements in entertainment," says Clayton Davis.
Paramount+ was a struggle to use during the Tonys, at least for iPhone users: "All but the three biggest awards were presented over the course of two hours on Paramount+ — something that offended many in the Broadway community, since the presentation of almost all Tonys has historically aired on CBS, not on a streaming service that requires a subscription sign-up, or at least a trial for one — and then the other three were handed out during a two-hour concert special that did air on CBS," says Scott Feinberg. "Sadly, Paramount’s streaming app, at least for iPhones, was a total bust, failing to actually offer a link to view the ceremony or, at times, to load at all. And the CBS app offered only the option of watching football. So it was a frustrating evening for me and a lot of other theater lovers (see: Twitter), and a hot mess of the sort that is particularly inexcusable given that CBS and the forces behind the Tonys — The Broadway League and the American Theatre Wing — had 16 months longer than usual to get their act together."