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Ehrlich picked to fix Emmys

Grammy guru grabbed for TV Acad kudocast

CBS and the Academy of TV Arts & Sciences have enlisted Grammys producer Ken Ehrlich to help revamp this year’s Emmys kudofest.

Ehrlich was named executive producer Tuesday of the 57th annual Primetime Emmy Awards telecast, which airs Sept. 18 on the Eye.

He replaces Don Mischer, who helmed the Emmycast for the last decade except in 2001, when the events of 9/11 delayed the broadcast and Mischer had to bow out and focus on his Winter Olympics commitments.

Ehrlich will be charged with attempting to reverse the awards show’s ratings slide. The 2004 broadcast drew just 14 million viewers, the event’s second-smallest audience ever.

Since then, the TV Academy has been mulling new ways to repackage the primetime ceremony. Ehrlich inherits a show that will already boast several changes this year.

Live acceptance speeches from winners in all directing and writing categories, as well as for awards for telepics, miniseries, variety/music/comedy series and specials, have been eliminated. Instead, nominees in those categories will pre-tape their thank yous, which will run as they head toward the stage.

Noting that Ehrlich had “helped take the Grammy telecast to untold heights” for CBS, net entertainment prexy Nina Tassler said she was “confident that his experience and vision will bring a fresh perspective to this year’s Emmy broadcast.”

TV Academy CEO Dick Askin, meanwhile, said the org was attracted to Ehrlich as “one of the leading producers of event-related specials for television.”

This year’s Emmycast actually reps Ehrlich’s second stab at TV’s biggest night — he previously produced the 32nd annual Primetime Emmy Awards in 1980.

Besides producing 25 Grammy Awards telecasts, Ehrlich’s credits include creating and producing the “MTV Movie Awards,” “VH1 Honors” and VH1’s “Diva” specials. Credits also include “Genius: A Night for Ray Charles” and music specials for Celine Dion, Elton John, Ricky Martin, Aretha Franklin and Eric Clapton.

In series TV, Ehrlich helped create and produce “Motown Live,” “The Dennis Miller Show,” “Fame” and “Women Rock! Girls & Guitars.”

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