E! pacts to televise tech Emmys Sept. 20

E! Entertainment Television has inked a deal with the Academy of Television Arts & Sciences to televise the technical portion of the Primetime Emmy Awards as a two-hour special, “The Creative Arts Emmys,” on Sept. 20.

The creative arts awards, encompassing 50 categories primarily in technical areas, will be handed out Sept. 18, a day before the above-the-line Primetime Emmy ceremony is televised on ABC.

The pact marks the first national exposure for the creative arts awards as well as their return to TV after a one-year absence. Fox Broadcasting Co. agreed to air the tech awards presentation under its last Emmy contract — with the same two-night delay — on its owned-and-operated stations in New York and Los Angeles.

The creative arts ceremony was broadcast in 1990 and ’91 in those two cities but dropped in the final year of Fox’s deal, having garnered only about a 5 share in each of its local telecasts.

The E! special will be hosted by Michael Castner and Arthel Neville, airing from 7-9 p.m. ET Monday and repeating four times throughout the week. Spike Jones Jr. will produce and direct the Sept. 18 ceremony, with Bob Wollin and Stu Berg as exec producers.

The all-entertainment cable channel aired two other first-ever kudocasts earlier this year — the New York Film Critics Assn. and Television Critics Assn. awards. E! will air live coverage both before and after the Sunday Emmy ceremony.

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