Fall TV 2020: Your Questions Answered!

© 2019 American Broadcasting Companies, Inc. All rights reserved.
In the first Fall TV season during the age of COVID, even a seemingly simple kissing scene like this one from Grey's Anatomy will pose a creative/staging challenge to showrunners.

The Fall 2020 TV season is (somewhat) getting underway. But as most of this year has with everything else, the next few months will look and feel a little different for TV fans from the falls they have become accustomed to over the years, with things affected by the pandemic.

The Emmys will still air this fall; HBO’s Watchmen leads the nominees Mark Hill/HBO

Here are a few things you need to know about Fall TV 2020:

Are Shows Back In Production?

First, you need to know there is no traditional fall TV season schedule this year. Yes, many shows have returned with new protocols in place. How many returning scripted favorites will be back in business by the traditional premiere weeks of late September and early October remains to be seen (that’s why you will see several premiere dates missing in our September print issue).

TV Guide Magazine’s senior critic Matt Roush says we should expect to see a significant delay in getting new episodes ready for air on many primetime shows, as they figure out how to proceed with rigorous safety protocols, among other complicating factors.


How Does The Coronavirus Impact Storylines?

The biggest thing viewers will probably notice is on the romance front, especially kissing and sex scenes. Grey’s Anatomy showrunner Krista Vernoff said in a podcast that it’s “safe to say” that TV will be featuring a lot less kissing this season, but was confident they could work around being both socially distanced and sexy.

“Obviously, you can’t have people making out, but there’s been a lot of sex on Grey’s Anatomy that doesn’t involve kissing,” she said. “There’s a lot of sexy lifting of clothes, and pulling down of clothes, and taking off of things, and standing behind a person in a sexy way. There’s a lot of ways to skin a cat, so to speak.”

© 2016 American Broadcasting Companies, Inc. All rights reserved.


How Are The Emmy Awards Being Aired?

Jimmy Kimmel (pictured above) will serve as host of the 2020 Emmy Awards, which will be a virtual ceremony this year, instead of the star-studded spectacle it usually is. The show will air on Sunday, Sept. 20, on ABC. Plenty of pre-show coverage will air on E! Earning the most accolades this year was HBO’s Watchmen with 26 nominations. Here are the top categories’ nominees:

Drama Series: Better Call Saul (AMC), The Crown (Netflix), The Handmaid’s Tale (Hulu), Killing Eve (BBC America), The Mandalorian (Disney+), Ozark (Netflix), Stranger Things (Netflix) and Succession (HBO)

Comedy Series: Curb Your Enthusiasm (HBO), Dead to Me (Netflix), The Good Place (NBC), Insecure (HBO), The Kominsky Method (Netflix), The Marvelous Mrs. Maisel (Prime Video), Schitt’s Creek (Pop) and What We Do in the Shadows (FX)

Limited Series: Little Fires Everywhere (Hulu), Mrs. America (FX on Hulu), Unbelievable (Netflix), Unorthodox (Netflix) and Watchmen (HBO)


When Is Chip And Joanna Gaines’ Network Going To Launch?

Though the Magnolia Network was originally supposed to launch this fall, the debut has now been delayed to 2021. The network, coming from power couple Chip and Joanna Gaines (pictured below), is taking over what is currently the DIY Network.

2016 Donna Ward

Viewers can expect a vibrant roster of home and lifestyle shows, but what’s probably the most recognizable will be the return of Fixer Upper, the show that introduced audiences to the Gaineses in the first place. Fixer Upper ran for five seasons before ending in April 2018, but it will now be resurrected and launch alongside the network debut in 2021.