Kudos to air on cable for first time

Ending the uncertainty over its broadcast future with barely a month before the black ties hit the Beverly Hilton, the Daytime Emmys have a deal for a new television home with HLN, which will televise the kudos live on June 23.

The 39th edition of the event, which had spent the past two years on CBS, will air live at 8 p.m. Eastern and 5 p.m. Pacific, with encore broadcasts to follow on HLN, which reaches approximately 95 million homes domestically. It will be the Daytime Emmys’ first appearance on cable.

Marc Lucas will direct the kudocast, which drew a 0.8 rating and 3 share among adults 18-49 for CBS last year (airing on a Sunday) and 5.4 million viewers overall. A host has not been finalized but is expected to be announced within the next two weeks.

LocoDistro, led by CEO Colleen Seldin and chief creative officer Gabriel Gornell, signed on to produce. The shingle came on board after Associated Television International parted ways with the Daytime Emmys in February.

National Academy of Television Arts & Sciences chairman Malachy Wienges told Variety that the daytime community was “unhappy” with the previous two shows. The org went to several producers looking for a fresher take.

“After the last show, the daytime community approached NATAS and said that if we have to do the show in 2012 the exact same as in 2010 and 2011, we would rather have an untelevised event and just have a sit-down dinner and honor ourselves in Beverly Hills.” Wienges said.

The new approach will focus on a celebration of daytime TV at a time of transition for the industry, which has seen such defining dramas as “All My Children” and “One Life to Live” leave the air in the past year.

“This has to be as much a tribute to daytime television as an awards show,” Gornell said.

That being said, Gornell asserted that the awards themselves — which spread across a number of genres that include animation, gameshows, talk, culinary and children’s programming — wouldn’t be marginalized.

“While we pay tribute to television, it’s the awards that are going to get us there,” he said. “This show is probably going to have more awards than previous years and is probably going to have fewer song-and-dance numbers than previous years.”

Word of HLN’s interest in the Daytime Emmys emerged in early May. HLN exec veep and general manager Scot Safon said that from the first moment the cabler was approached in March as a potential television partner, there was a natural fit.

“HLN focuses on news stories and information and things that our audience wants to talk about,” Safon said. “That includes the celebrations like the Emmy awards. If there’s a fanbase there, which for daytime television is an enormous fanbase, and the show was really going to delight that fanbase, then we were interested in presenting that — because that’s a news event to them.”

HLN and parent company Turner, which also provides the annual home for the Screen Actors Guild awards on TNT and TBS, are developing a number of promos to draw attention to the kudocast.

“From the very beginning, it really came down to finding the right broadcast television partner that understood what we we’re trying to accomplish,” Gornell said, “not only creatively but from a messaging standpoint, that also had the platform resources to get behind it.”

There had been speculation, following the withdrawal of ATI and CBS, that the Daytime Emmys might end up as a webcast or untelevised on any medium, but Wienges said that was not a possibility given the interest from “a couple of cable companies and agencies.”

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