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TV Acad tribute overhauled

The Academy of Television Arts & Sciences and Smith-Hemion Prods. have scrapped plans to produce their 50-year tribute to the TV Academy as a live-on-tape event and will instead package it as a docu that will keep its April 23 premiere date on HBO.

The project was originally to be taped April 6 in front of a live, celebrity-studded audience at the Pantages Theatre, with a gala reception immediately following at the Hollywood Palladium.

Instead, ATAS plans to stage an invitation-only Hollywood premiere gala of the finished special at an undeter-mined date in advance of the HBO kickoff.

A switch was made necessary when, as production proceeded, execs realized that the number of vintage clips was proving overwhelming.

Under the new setup, the two-hour program — “50 Years of Television: The Television Academy’s Golden Anni-versary” — will incorporate original intros to clips. Among the celebs who have agreed to present introductions are Ed Asner, Milton Berle, Diahann Carroll, Mike Douglas and Rosie O’Donnell.

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