MTV heralds summer viewing with its Movie & TV Awards

LOS ANGELES– Despite glowering skies and dime-size hail stones, MTV on Sunday was heralding the start of the summer viewing season with its Movie & TV Awards.

The red carpet outside Los Angeles’ Shrine Auditorium was a swamp as luminaries made their water-logged arrival for the shindig. They included award nominee RuPaul, who joked that he was on hand “to find my next job.”

U.S. Rep. Maxine Waters arrived trash-talking President Donald Trump, while seven members of the cast from the Netflix hit “Stranger Things” teamed up for interviews arm-in-arm.

A few minutes later, well-heeled stars and their handlers scrambled for cover from a downpour, deserting the carpet.

The entire arrivals area was haphazardly relocated inside, but not before scores of guests and media crews were soaked. (While most awards shows make contingency plans for weather, apparently none was in place.)

TV shows are newly eligible for Golden Popcorn trophies at this year’s ceremony, formerly known as the MTV Movie Awards. The show will be broadcast live.

MTV is also breaking down gender barriers in its new format, with men and women competing together in the acting categories.

The show is keeping up its traditional irreverence, though, with awards recognizing the best hero, villain, kiss and duo across television and film.

Several new categories were added this year: Best American Story, for the program or film that “showcases America at its best”; Best Fight Against the System, which celebrates underdog efforts and social justice; top trending moment; and best musical moment.

The horror hit “Get Out” leads all nominees with six bids, including movie of the year.

“Beauty and the Beast” and the Netflix series “Stranger Things” have four nominations each.

The cast of the “Fast and Furious” franchise will receive the Generation Award, which Vin Diesel is set to accept.

Hosted by actor Adam Devine, the MTV Movie & TV Awards will also feature sneak peeks of anticipated films including “Transformers: The Last Knight” and “Spider-Man: Homecoming.”