The hybrid event would launch no sooner than three or four years from now, NATAS chairman Malachy Wienges told Variety today, and would not replace any of the existing awards shows — but would seek to draw upon the added star power that the news and sports events provide.
“Those shows are powerhoused with a lot of talent,” Wienges said.
The National TV Academy would adjust the voting periods for the different awards shows to make the hybrid event work. The News & Doc Emmys are in the fall, the Sports Emmys in the spring.
Wienges emphasized that the Daytime Emmys would continue in 2013 as a televised event, following a year in which the deal for this year’s broadcast to air on HLN — the event’s first presentation ever on cable TV — came together barely a month before the kudofest itself.
Saturday’s live broadcast drew 912,000 viewers, above-average by HLN standards but about a 67% drop from the Daytime Emmys’ previous record low of 2.7 million on the CW in 2009. With repeats over the weekend, cumulative viewing totaled approximately 2 million.
This came despite what Wienges said was strong promotion from HLN and its sister Turner networks.
“They produced more than we expected,” Wienges said. “Last year, we only had maybe three promos before (on CBS). This year, part of the contract with HLN was 300. … It felt like 300 a day.”
Wienges believes getting a TV deal done sooner could help with rehabilitating the profile of the show, and plans to begin sitting down with prospective partners July 1. This year, he said, negotiations for a new TV home didn’t get underway until mid-March, after an arrangement with former producer Associated Television Intl. fell apart.
The NATAS chairman dismissed the notion of the Daytime Emmys failing to find a TV home next year.
“I guarantee my reputation on it,” he said. “I didn’t spend 31 years at CBS to give it all up.”
“We are wide open. We have two networks that are interested, alphabet networks, and we have three production companies interested, and Turner’s interested. … I’ve already engaged an attorney in Hollywood who’s done probably dozens of these for different venues.”
Also certain, said Wienges, was that the Daytime Emmys would remain in Los Angeles after spending 2010 and 2011 in Las Vegas, though whether it would return to the Beverly Hilton or another venue was up for discussion. (One of the positives of being in Vegas, Wienges noted in passing, was that the Las Vegas Hilton comped the awards dinner meals.)
Wienges said that after last year’s event, the daytime community overwhelmingly called for a sit-down dinner that would celebrate the honorees, rather than a glitz-filled kudofest.
While saying that had gotten much positive feedback from this year’s edition, he acknowledged that the tributes to departing soaps such as “All My Children” and “One Life to Live,” which were noticeably clip-free, could have been improved upon. He cited the time and pace of the show as one issue.
This year’s Daytime Emmys, which Wienges decided two weeks ago would not have a host, managed to get every award from this year’s ceremony announced live, while running only eight minutes over its scheduled two-hour broadcast. The only other non-awards moments were an opening bit featuring Anderson Cooper and Oscar the Grouch, and an “In Memoriam” segment.
Top: An alligator, supervised by an unseen Jack Hanna, makes an appearance at Saturday's Daytime Emmys. (Kevin Winter/Getty Images)
Above right: NATAS chairman Malachy Wienges (Michael Kovac/WireImage)