This is probably not going to be a popular opinion in town but regarding the Emmycast shakeup … I say give them the benefit of the doubt, at least until Sept. 21. For three reasons:
No. 1 — They're not dumping the awards entirely from the show. The vidclips will be interspersed at appropriate moments throughout the telecast. Exec producer Don Mischer has promised the clips won't be a split-second montage thing but a proper segment for each of the eight awards that will include a listing of the nominees, the reaction shot of the winner(s) while still seated and then a complete thought expressed by said winner(s) at the microphone.
No. 2 — The Emmycast has to do something. It's basically a pretty boring show. I'm always preoccupied by covering the backstage antics, but you can tell that with rare exceptions, it's a snoozer. The vast majority of my non-pro friends have never watched it, couldn't care less, even those who are TV buffs.
No. 3 — They've got Neil Patrick Harris as host. This fine young man is a born entertainer. He deserves some extra minutes here and there to strut, sing and soft shoe. Memo to Mischer: Reserve Ricky Gervais for a nice long segment, and throw caution to the wind by giving Craig Ferguson a good slot too for some ad-libbing. Fortune favors the brave.
I really don't believe that the changes are any kind of big conspiracy by CBS to downplay the wins of rivals, particularly cable rivals, in favor of running trailers for "CSI" and "The Mentalist." I think it is a ratings-driven move to produce a show with more tune-in appeal to the vast expanse of viewers.
As usual, I agree with most everything Brian Lowry has to say in the thinkpiece he's posted on BLTV.