The 1975 Daytime Emmy Awards were broadcast from a Hudson River cruise ship in New York Harbor. This year, they’ve also been set adrift, but not in a good way — the kudocast finds itself again searching for a broadcast home.
Associated Television Intl.’s David McKenzie and Jim Romanovich came to the show’s rescue back in 2009 after CBS opted not to broadcast the kudofest as part of an ongoing rotation among the big three networks. ATI put the show on the CW that year, before CBS aired the production in 2010 and 2011. But the production company has announced that this year it won’t be doing the show, set for June 23 at the Beverly Hilton.
“I hope they find a broadcaster, if just for the sake of giving stars from (canceled ABC soaps) ‘One Life to Live’ and ‘All My Children’ one more chance to be celebrated on national television,” says Romanovich.
The National Academy of Television Arts and Sciences says it is pursuing broadcast possibilities, including those on network, cable and digital media to bring the ceremony to viewers. However, industry reaction to having the show on the Internet is mixed, at best.
“There’s not ‘appointment viewing’ when your show is on the Web,” says J.D. Roth, executive producer of ABC’s “The Revolution.”
“People will be glad it’s happening (if it ends up on the Web),” says “Days of Our Lives” co-executive producer Greg Meng. “But awards shows for Web series should be on the Web. Awards programs honoring the best of television should be on television.”
“The Young and the Restless” thesp Peter Bergman, who attended a non-televised Daytime Emmys in 1984, says there are advantages to not airing the show.
“The Directors Guild of America Awards isn’t broadcast on TV, and it’s the nicest awards I’ve ever been to,” he says. “It’s done very well.”
But then you lose the potential of promoting winners on the smallscreen. “The Doctors,” which debuted in 2008, won a Daytime Emmy in 2010.
“That probably brought a few eyeballs to (our) show,” says exec producer Carla Pennington.”A lot of soap fans watch the Daytime Emmys, and they are our demographic.”
Says Bradley Bell, executive producer and head writer of three-time defending champ in drama “The Bold and the Beautiful”: “I’d be happy either way. I love that it’s been on primetime all these years, but I wouldn’t mind losing some of the commercial aspects of the ceremony and bringing it back to celebrating daytime television.”
TV Guide daytime columnist Michael Logan thinks this cliffhanger could have a happy ending.
“Let’s not forget ATI stepped up very late in the game last year. There could be some player that does that again. If any (network) is likely to do it, it’s CBS.”
Also predicting the show will find a home again is Barry Adelman, executive vice president of television for Dick Clark Prods., which produced the show many times — including the first year (1991) it was on in primetime. Showing how times have changed, the show was the top-rated program for the week that year.
“Things are cyclical,” Adelman says. “There are a lot of creative, talented people in daytime, and they’re going to come up with a way to refresh the genre and get new fans watching.”