Mark Burnett to exec produce Sept. 18 Emmycast on Fox

The new TV rights contract for the Emmycast has finally come together, but tough decisions regarding a possible revamp of the format will be put off for at least another year.

Meanwhile, Mark Burnett has been tapped to serve as exec producer of this year’s telecast. Burnett, riding high on the success of NBC’s “The Voice,” has plenty of kudocast experience, having exec produced multiple editions of the MTV Movie Awards and People’s Choice Awards.

As for the rights pact, the Academy of Television Arts & Sciences’ board of governors approved at a meeting Wednesday night the eight-year deal that keeps the Primetime Emmy Awards telecast rotating among the Big Four nets. The license fee was increased incrementally from the last eight-year deal to about $8.25 million a year.

It’s understood the contract includes a provision that calls for the presenting network and TV Acad brass to huddle each year in January to negotiate possible changes to the show’s format. But because the rights deal wrangle dragged on so long — the previous pact expired after last year’s Emmycast — there’s no time for Fox, this year’s presenting net, to develop a plan to streamline award categories.

The networks had pushed hard to incorporate changes to the telecast format, including a bid to drop most of the longform categories, into the new contract (Daily Variety, Jan. 21). But with the clock ticking on planning for the Sept. 18 telecast, the nets reluctantly agreed to address the issue down the road.A rep for ATAS declined comment. Burnett could not immediately be reached for comment.

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