Emmys moves back to eve of season

Mark your calendars: The Primetime Emmy Awards will be presented Sept. 19 on ABC, returning to an eve-of-the-new-season airdate instead of the late-August window the ceremony occupied the past two years on Fox Broadcasting Co.

The awards will emanate from the Pasadena Civic Auditorium for the 16th consecutive year, despite a recent pronouncement by ABC — the TV home of the Emmys for the next four years — that it might seek a different venue.

Non-televised creative arts awards will be handed out as usual a day earlier, Sept. 18.

Fox moved the Emmycast from its traditional date, the Sunday before the start of the new prime time season, to late August in an effort to avoid stiff counterprogramming from the Big Three networks. By returning to mid-September, ABC undoubtedly will face tougher competition from the other webs, who are still miffed about the way the Academy of Television Arts & Sciences conducted the Emmy negotiations, resulting in the exclusive ABC deal (Daily Variety, Feb. 8).

Emmy nominations will be announced July 22 (again at 5:35 a.m. PT for the network morning shows) at the Academy’s Plaza Theater in North Hollywood. Eligible programs will have aired between June 1 last year and May 31, with an early entry deadline of April 5 and final deadline May 11.

Nominating ballots will be sent to voters beginning June 9 and must be returned by June 25. After the nominations are announced, blue-ribbon panel judging to determine winners will be conducted Aug. 14-15. An exec producer for the Emmycast has yet to be selected.

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