The MTV Awards last month weren’t bad. (How could they be anything but good with Lady Gaga front and center?) The Academy of Country Music Awards this week were actually pretty great, even if it was as odd for viewers to sit through acceptance speeches given on a stage in an empty auditorium as it was for the winners to make them. Both of these events turned out to be reasonably entertaining amalgams of live, pre-taped and virtual content. I wouldn’t want this format to last forever -- or even another year -- but for now they are a fine demonstration of how the entertainment industry is figuring out ways to survive the ravages of the coronavirus pandemic. Kudos to everyone involved in both events, especially the backstage workers in each locale who made such special programming possible. Where would the business be without them? Indeed, it was a memorable moment at the end of the ACMs when Carrie Underwood thanked everyone at the Ryman for making the performers and presenters feel safe.
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