Tonys to Move Forward With Unscripted, Televised Broadcast Amid Writers Strike

The Tony Awards will move forward with an unscripted, televised broadcast on CBS, The Hollywood Reporter has learned.

Ariana DeBose is still expected to helm the ceremony in some capacity and productions are expected to perform musical numbers during the ceremony, according to sources.

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The Tony Awards Management Committee asked the WGA for a waiver last week, and received a denial. The committee appealed to the Writers Guild once again Monday for a way to move the ceremony forward.

The WGA said late Monday that the union would not grant the June 11 ceremony a waiver or exception, but would not picket the event.

This decision was made after Tony Awards Productions told the union they would make changes to the show “to conform with specific requests from the WGA,” the guild said in a statement.

“Responsibility for having to make changes to the format of the 2023 Tony Awards rests squarely on the shoulders of Paramount/CBS and their allies,” the statement said. “They continue to refuse to negotiate a fair contract for the writers represented by the WGA.

“As they have stood by us, we stand with our fellow workers on Broadway who are impacted by our strike,” the statement continued.

The Hollywood Reporter previously reported that a script for the ceremony had already been completed before the writers strike began.

Lin-Manuel Miranda had been tapped to write a number for the Tony Awards but stopped writing in solidarity with the Writers Guild of America strike, according to sources familiar with the matter.

He had started writing shortly before the WGA strike began on May 2.

Miranda is not a WGA member but was spotted handing out donuts to WGA members on the picket lines in New York last week. Miranda has worked across stage and screen, including starring in and creating Hamilton, with other credits directing the film Tick, TickBoom and composing the score for Moana and Encanto, among other projects.

Miranda wrote additional lyrics for the musical New York, New York, which is up for best musical at this year’s Tony Awards.

A Washington Heights resident who embodied his love for the neighborhood with the musical In the Heights, Miranda has also been a big supporter of the United Palace, where the Tonys has been scheduled to be held, and regularly hosts free, community film screenings there, with the cost co-supported by the Miranda Family Fund.

Miranda has previously written for the Tony Awards, including writing the up-to-minute closing rap number during the show for 2011 host Neil Patrick Harris.

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