As most Awards shows, this year's Screen Actors Guild Awards will look very different from its traditional format due to COVID-19 concerns. Unlike the recent Golden Globes 2021 hybrid format, which featured some in-person and virtual appearances, the 2021 SAG Awards will be completely virtual, pre-taped, and will be broadcast in an hour-long format in April. "We're looking at trying to do a unique award ceremony in an hour and leave people saying, which they very rarely do [with an awards show], 'Man, I wish we had more,'" co-executive producer Todd Milliner told Variety.
Variety reports the awards will be given to the winners days before the ceremony's premiere. The nominees will gather in Zoom rooms for each category, where the winner will be announced. The winner will then be presented with the opportunity to give an acceptance speech. This means spoilers are possible, but the show's executive producer team seems confident a leak won't happen. “SAG Awards is a project where everybody has to work together, so we respect all of those protocols that are in place just to make everybody feel safe,” Sean Hayes, one of the show's executive producers said. "We hope they respect the show enough and everybody does, and their fellow actors, that they don't want to disappoint the audience at home by letting any surprises go," Connell said of nominees who will know outcomes prior to the actual show's broadcast date.
This year's hostless show will bypass the red carpet and set structure. Instead, the ceremony will be filled with comedy sketches along with the signature "I am an Actor" bit the SAG Awards are known for. In addition to the winner announcements, there will also be an "In Memoriam" segment. “It is a jam-packed hour, and we’re still trying to rob from one part to give to another part,” Milliner said. “When you start parsing out that hour, we didn’t really have time for a stage. Honestly, if none of the rest of the show was going to be live we thought, 'let’s put the rest of this time into those segments.'"
Stars expected to make an appearance include Sterling K. Brown (This Is Us), Lily Collins (Emily in Paris), Daveed Diggs (Snowpiercer, The Good Lord Bird, Hamilton), Ted Danson (Mr. Mayor), and Mary Steenburgen (Zoey’s Extraordinary Playlist). The SAG Awards air Sunday, April 4, at 9 p.m. ET/6 p.m. PT on TNT and TBS.