Call it a Hail Mary play: NBC and the TV Academy announced Tuesday that they’re moving this year’s Emmys broadcasts from Sunday to Monday.
NBC will air the 66th Primetime Emmy Awards on Monday, Aug. 25., marking the first time in nearly 40 years that the show won’t take place on a Sunday; the last time the Emmys aired on a Monday was May 17, 1976.
NBC has a history of airing the show earlier in the year than other networks to avoid conflicts with its NFL franchise, Deadline reports. Indeed, the network says it moved the award show to avoid a potential showdown with a preseason Sunday Night Football game on Aug. 24. (The fact that the MTV Music Video Awards are also scheduled for that evening probably doesn’t help.)
Still, the move from Sunday to Monday comes as a surprise: Pundits have already noted the risks of moving the telecast away from Sunday night, when many families are home watching television anyway. Just two of the major awards shows – the Country Music Awards and the People’s Choice Awards – air during the week.
Last year’s Emmys telecast, which aired on a Sunday, was the highest-rated in 8 years, attracting about 18 million viewers.