The Emmy Awards, take three.
CBS and TV Academy insiders confirmed Tuesday night that this year’s twice-delayed kudocast will now take place Nov. 4 at the Shubert Theater in Century City.
Reps from the Eye and the Academy of Television Arts & Sciences plan to officially announce the date and venue switch this morning. CBS is expected to name vet producer Gary Smith to replace Don Mischer, who dropped out late last week due to scheduling conflicts.
Details haven’t been ironed out, but the three-hour event will serve as the centerpiece of CBS’ first Sunday in November sweeps. The telepic “Beyond the Prairie II: The True Story of Laura Ingalls Wilder Continues” was previously scheduled in the timeslot.
The new date may pose another scheduling challenge, however: The seventh game of the World Series, if necessary, would air on Fox that night. Otherwise, the award show may still bump up against the season premiere of “The X-Files.”
Emmy organizers hope the third time will be the charm. Kudofest had been slated for Sept. 16 until the terrorist attacks in New York and Washington forced a postponement. CBS and ATAS then put together a more somber telecast for Oct. 7 — until the commencement of military action in Afghanistan delayed the show again.
In the days after the second cancellation, it seemed uncertain whether the Emmys would go forward. Although the net and org discussed simply putting out an announcement of the winners and hand-delivering trophies to the recipients, both sides quickly decided to try one more time at a kudocast.
Academy officials had nixed the idea of returning to the Shrine Auditorium. A wide variety of alternate locations were discussed, such as a local military base. But CBS turned down the armed-forces approach.
The Shubert, slated to be torn down after its lease expires in September 2002, came into play as Emmy producers scouted out alternative venues.
Producers were also limited by dates. The Museum of Television and Radio’s annual gala is scheduled for Sunday, Nov. 11; that org had already agreed to move the annual event from Oct. 7 per the TV academy’s request.
“It was almost a process of elimination,” one insider said of the final decision. “There are only so many dates, there are only so many venues.”
Producers will now have to race to create a third version of the Emmycast. Sources expect that much of Mischer’s pre-planned Oct. 7 show will be salvaged in the process. Pre-taped segments, including a piece on New York police officers introduced by “NYPD Blue’s” Dennis Franz, are in the can and available for air.
“If Joel Gallen can produce a telethon (‘America: A Tribute to Heroes’) in three days, then the Academy can get this done,” one observer said. “But this is going to be a tough one.”
CBS and ATAS are also expected to announce whether Ellen DeGeneres will remain as host, and whether a New York simulcast will be included.
Though no plans for a post-awards Governors Ball (or “Unity Dinner,” as the post-party scheduled for Oct. 7 was called) have been announced, the most likely venue for one would be the Los Angeles Ballroom of the Century Plaza Hotel.
That room, which can hold up 2,000, is a short walk from the Shubert and, as a frequent setting for presidential visits, it offers high security.
(Bill Higgins contributed to this report.)