Parties face changes with Nokia move

After-fest circuit could join Emmys downtown

As far as Emmy parties go, this could be an era’s swan song.

If the Emmys move next year to the Staples Center-adjacent, 7,100-seat Nokia Theater in the L.A. Live complex (and it’s still technically an “if”), this will be the last time the Governors Ball and the after-parties are arrayed the way they’ve been for the last decade.

The ball would probably move to the nearby Convention Center, and there’s a chance some of the after-parties would come to the new restaurants and spaces opening within L.A. Live, if they’re finished in time.

If the after-parties do move near to where the Emmys are held, they’ll be following the lead of one annual affair that’s setting up in downtown this year.

The “ET”/People mag party, which last year made a big splash with a perf by Prince at the Mondrian (and also got shut down early by the fire marshal), is moving to the Music Center’s Walt Disney Hall.

“By being downtown, we’re going to be the first stop for guests leaving the Shrine,” “ET” veep Lisa Summers Haas notes.

Summers Haas says the party will feature another major performer, a Godiva chocolate lounge and an exclusively designed Cole Haan gift bag.

Also downtown, the Academy of Television Arts & Sciences’ Governors Ball will once again be in the Shrine’s Exposition Hall serving dinner to 2,800 guests after the show.

“The difference this year is we’re taking the ball to a theatrical level,” notes Sequoia Prods. producer Cheryl Cecchetto. “The whole style and texture of the event will be transformed throughout the evening.”

HBO will again be on the Pacific Design Center’s plaza with a tented, Billy Butchkavitz-

designed party done in a Thai theme featuring four-story-tall statues, a Thai menu from Wolfgang Puck and a troupe of Thai dancers.

For the first time, DirecTV will be entering the Emmy after-party race with an affair in West Hollywood. The event will be showcasing the launch of the company’s HD channels.

Twentieth Century Fox Television and Fox Broadcasting will be hosting their annual post-show gala at Spago. The venue will be expanded with a tent covering Canon Drive in BevHills. In line with parent company News Corp.’s initiative against global warming, the party is going to have a major eco-friendly theme with hybrid cars delivering the talent, recycled products, organic linens and a green arrival carpet.

TV Guide will be holding its fifth annual night-of bash at Les Deux, erecting a 15,000-square-foot, French-themed tent with chandeliers and champagne-serving waitresses dressed as Marie Antoinette.

The big affair the night before the Emmys will be the inaugural Evening Before party, which will benefit the Motion Picture & Television Fund. Among those hosting the 800 guests are Dick Wolf; Jerry Bruckheimer; Kyra Sedgwick and Kevin Bacon; Sally Field; Glenn Close; Michelle Pfeiffer and David Kelley; Mariska Hargitay; J.J. Abrams; and MPTF chairman Jeffrey Katzenberg.

The fund-raiser is a sibling to Oscars’ Night Before party, which has raised $23 million for the MPTF over the past five years. The setting for the pre-Emmy party will be the lawn of Century Park in Century City.

The Saturday afternoon before the Emmys, the TV academy and BAFTA/LA will be holding their fifth annual tea party at the Wattles Mansion in Hollywood for U.K. and Commonwealth nominees.

“The number of Brits both in front of and behind the camera on TV here has grown exponentially,” notes BAFTA/LA chairman Peter Morris.

Also on that Saturday, Entertainment Weekly will have its annual pre-Emmy affair at the newly opened Opera and Crimson in Hollywood.

In the week before the Emmys, ATAS will be holding a number of peer group receptions.

On Sunday, ATAS will conduct its producer nominee reception at One Sunset; on Monday, it’s the writers nominee reception at the Friars Club; Tuesday is the director nominee reception at the DGA; and on Friday, the performer nominee reception is at the WP restaurant in the Pacific Design Center.

And earning the prize for the earliest pre-Emmy party, ATAS and Architectural Digest are hosting a reception for the set designer peer group at Poliform in West Hollywood today.

“The receptions are one of the benefits of being a member of the Television academy,” ATAS CEO Alan Perris says. “You get to network and socialize with your peers. You get a lot for your membership here.”

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