With awards season poised to take a break for the holidays after the recent nomination announcements from the Critics’ Choice, Golden Globes and SAG, along comes—what is to the best of our current knowledge– the very last award show of 2014.
And it’s a first – the inaugural edition of “The People Magazine Awards,” slated to air on NBC Thursday night from the Beverly Hilton.
The two-hour telecast, which will air live on the East Coast and be tape-delayed in other time zones, is billed as a snapshot of the year in pop culture and will be hosted by Nick Cannon. On tap are performances from Grammy Award winners Gwen Stefani and Pharrell Williams, Maroon 5 and 5 Seconds of Summer.
Other talent expected to attend include Jennifer Aniston, Jeff Bridges, Kaley Cuoco-Sweeting, Billy Eichner, Josh Gad, Josh Groban, Diane Guerrero, Ryan Guzman, Jon Hamm, Sean Hayes, Kevin Hart, Kate Hudson, Mindy Kaling, Michael Keaton, Karlie Kloss, John Krasinski, Lisa Kudrow, Jennifer Lopez, Chris Messina, Chloë Grace Moretz, Elisabeth Moss, Ryan Phillippe and Kate Upton.
Not to be confused with the “People’s Choice Awards,” but similarly populist in nature, “The People Magazine Awards” will present a Hero of the Year Award to recipient Nora Sandigo and a fan-voted award for Best People Magazine Cover of the Year.
As for the inspiration behind the creation of the new awards show, one of the magazine’s editors says it’s a natural extension of the brand. “People has been the go-to brand for all things pop culture for the last four decades,” says Jen Garcia. “Who better to celebrate and bring to life all that happened in 2014 than the leading voice in the industry? Our show is created through the unique lens of the People brand: it’s celebrity, fashion and ordinary people doing extraordinary things.”
Sandigo is one of those people. She’ll be lauded for her work advocating for the rights of immigrants and their families and helping them adjust to American culture. She is the founder and executive director of American Fraternity Inc., which focuses on U.S.-born children of illegal immigrants facing the threat of deportation. Remarkably, she is the legal guardian of more than 800 such immigration “orphans,” who credit her tireless work with helping them remain in the country.
The two-hour special is being produced by dick clark productions, the industry’s largest producer of televised live entertainment programming whose programs include legacy titles “American Music Awards,” “Golden Globe Awards,” “Academy of Country Music Awards,” “Billboard Music Awards,” and “Dick Clark’s New Year’s Rockin’ Eve with Ryan Seacrest.”
“The People Magazine Awards” is the latest addition to that portfolio and comes on the heels of two other brand new dcp-produced kudocasts—this past Monday night’s “American Country Countdown Awards” (FOX) and “Hollywood Film Awards,” which aired last month on CBS.
As for the future of this latest entry into the awards canon, Garcia says she hopes it’s the beginning of another pop culture touchstone the magazine is known for creating during its 40 years of publication. “We hope that viewers enjoy the show and we are able to build a franchise like we’ve done so successfully with Sexiest Man Alive and World’s Most Beautiful.”
(“The People Magazine Awards” air on NBC, Thursday, Dec. 18, at 9 P.M. ET/PT.)