GOOD MORNING: Are there too many awards shows? I asked Dick Clark and Al Schwartz, who will exec produce and produce, respectively, the 48th Primetime Emmys — and the 178th(!) award show Dick says he’s been involved with. And Schwartz has been with Clark for 24 years. The answer, from Dick: “Nah — they feed on each other.” Schwartz: “All the others are too many.” Dick admits having wanted to do this show for a long time. One of the advantages — for entertainment value — it will toast the 50th anniversary of the TV Acad, giving the show an opportunity to air a collection of rare clips to make the show extremely visual. (The Museum of TV & Radio is being very helpful.) Emcee Paul Reiser also has had the past experience of m.c.’ing both the People’s Choice Awards and the Grammys …”There’s a temptation for the producer to make the show look clever — if you do, you’ll lose the audience. It’s a TV show,” Clark emphasizes. And, there’ll be no production numbers, no singers –“There’s just no time,” they remind — three hours for 28 categories plus the new President’s Award for socially redeeming shows. But, TV’s memorable music themes will open the show — 40 songs in three minutes. From then on in, it’s director Louis J. Horvitz’s job to get the show completed on time. He too, is a veteran with the Clark organization, having started as a cameraman on “American Bandstand”… It was fellow Chicagoan Schwartz who used his Windy City love and lore to woo Oprah Winfrey as a host assistant to Paul Reiser — following Oprah’s Oscar experience. She’ll lead in segs of memorable series moments, like the “Cheers” farewell, last seg of “The Fugitive,” etc. And Michael J. Fox, who does ditto “assisting” duties, will handle the “family shows” progression through the years … Clark tried to convince his Malibu neighbor Johnny Carson to come on this 50 th anni show — but no luck. Clark hoped to trio Carson, Jay Leno and David Letterman — he’s got the latter two on individual award presentations. There’ll be a seg showing the importance of doors, yes doors, in TV history. Guess who’ll come through one of ’em? There’ll also be a tribute to “Mr. Television,” Milton Berle. They secretly are hoping Angela Lansbury finally will get an award — it would be a big moment. On their Daytime Awards show they also hoped for Susan Lucci and had allotted a long timeslot for her, but –… The show’s writers are Barry Adelman, Jon Macks, Bruce Vilanch, Carol Leifer and Kevin Rooney. Danette Herman is exec in charge of talent, and among those also set are Carol Burnett, Michael Richards and Dennis Franz. More than 100 stars are expected to attend. Florence Henderson hosts the Web site Emmycast (www.emmys.org.), a live interactive Web show supervised by TV Acad computer staff expert Ray Muldaur. And yes, yours truly again will be in black tie — in the broiling Pasadena afternoon sun — in front of the Civic Auditorium to introduce the celebs.
HOW MUCH INTEREST is there in viewing conventions this year? Damn little. Don Ohlmeyer notes that the first night of the GOP airing brought a total, on all three nets combined, of a 21 share from 10-11 p.m. There’s no excitement — everyone knows the outcome, unlike past competitive years. But who wants to hear the plethora of platitudes from a parade of partisan participants on both sides? The repetitive ridicule of each other is obviously a TV turnoff. I saw Ohlmeyer and Lorne Michaels at Morton’s. The two old friends were, of course, talking the new season, particularly “Saturday Night Live,” which will bow its 22nd season Sept. 28 — hopefully with political pundits guesting. It’s also hoped Dana Carvey will be aboard with his priceless presidential takeoffs. As for the rest of the NBC season, Ohlmeyer is high on the new shows, but observes, “It’s like the start of the football season: You haven’t yet lost one game.” Ohlmeyer had just returned from Des Moines, Iowa, and the Saturday wedding of son Chris to Julie Snook. The bride had been director of branding at NBC. … And, talking politics, would you believe Charlton Heston, pre-San Diego, has been at the Tiffany twice to see Mort Sahl. Heston signed Sahl’s book, “To Mort, who made me laugh and made me think.” Sahl’s held over through mid-September.
THE CHRISTOPHER REEVE SCHOLARSHIP will be presented at the Media Access Awards on Oct. 29 at the Universal Hilton. The annual award will be given a performer with a disability. Lee Stalmaster, Loreen Arbus and Fern Field co-chair the event, established in 1978 by Field and Norman J. Brooks for the California Governor’s Committee for Employment of Disabled Persons to honor those who utilize their talents … Grammy- and Tony winner Jerry Herman has written the theme song for “Barney: The Movie,” now at Polygram. Ben Myron will exec produce. He’s currently exec producer of “Leave It to Beaver” at Universal, and his many credits include “Mr. Magoo,” “Bonanza,” “The Lone Ranger,” “Blaze of Glory,” etc.