CBS rescues the Daytime Emmy Awards

Emmyaward A year after CBS dumped plans to air the Daytime Emmys — leaving the kudocast temporarily orphaned — the Eye has reversed course, and will air this year’s ceremony.

CBS just announced that it will broadcast the 37th Annual Daytime Emmy Awards on Sunday, June 27 at 9 p.m. As was previously reported, this year’s awards show will take place in Las Vegas (at the Las Vegas Hilton) for the first time.

“Daytime series have a loyal and passionate following,” said CBS’ Jack Sussman, exec VP of specials, music and live events, in announcing the show.

Associated Television International, which came in last year to save the Daytime Emmys, will once again produce the show. ATI prexy David McKenzie will serve as exec producer.

Last year’s Daytime Emmys nearly didn’t happen at all. After CBS dropped its plans to air the kudocast, ABC also passed. From there, the awards show was shopped around town, but to no avail.

ATI eventually contacted the National Academy of TV Arts and Sciences, and together found a late summer home on the CW — on a Sunday night, where MGM Worldwide had a deal with the netlet to run a movie package.

As part of that time buy, MGM Worldwide TV Distribution sold the show internationally.
Given the unusual circumstances of last year’s show, the Daytime Emmys posted record lows — averaging 2.7 million viewers and just a 0.6 rating and 2 share among adults 18-49.

That was down from 2008, when its run on ABC attracted a paltry 5.4 million.

Like most awards shows, the Daytime Emmys had been suffering from erosion for years — but the telecast had experienced additional indignities in recent years. Once a May sweeps event, the telecast was later pushed into June, when viewer levels are lower.

Also, as tensions once again rose with rival Los Angeles-based org the Academy of TV Arts & Sciences, NATAS lost the ability to rely on help from its much larger West Coast counterpart.

NBC dropped out of the show in 2004, leaving just ABC and CBS to rotate coverage. Then both nets also turned their back on the event last year.

But over the past year, the ratings for other awards shows — including the Grammys, the Primetime Emmys and the Academy Awards — have seen ratings spikes. With interest in such events seemingly on the rise, CBS may have decided that it was worth giving the show another shot.

Nominations for the Daytime Emmys will be announced on May 12.

“The Daytime Emmy Awards are one of the cornerstones of our business and we are thrilled to be back on CBS,” said NATAS chairman Herb Granath.

(MORE: Read last year’s story about ATI’s 11th hour save to keep the Daytime Emmys alive.)

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