This year’s Emmy Awards will get the benefit of one of TV’s best lead-ins: Fox’s “NFL Sunday” will be on location on the award show’s red carpet, following the broadcast of the game between the Philadelphia Eagles and the Dallas Cowboys.
“As a producer I’m hoping that game is tight and it goes into overtime,” said Don Mischer, who’ll be producing the awards show again this year. This will be the first time a sports-themed pregame show will air live from the Emmy carpet.
Mischer was joined by Andy Samberg, who’ll be hosting this year’s show, as well as Television Academy chair Bruce Rosenblum, for a panel previewing the kudofest at the annual Television Critics Assn. press tour in Beverly Hills.
Samberg said he’s just begun working on ideas for the show, given that he’s been making a movie and starting production on the new season of his Fox sitcom “Brooklyn Nine-Nine.” But he has assembled his writing team, which includes Scott Aukerman and the staff of “Comedy Bang! Bang!” He plans eventually to extend a wide net that will include friends from “Saturday Night Live.”
He also plans to reach out to his Lonely Island crew. “They will want to do something if we think of the right thing,” he said. “But we’re not going to force it if it’s not right.” But, he added, “I’d be surprised if there’s nothing pre-taped. That’s where I’ve had the most success in the past.”
Samberg pointed to Tina Fey and Amy Poehler as role models. When asked what kind of host he wanted to be, he replied: “I want to be a funny one. Tina and Amy are the standard. They’re so good at keeping it feeling loose….It’s a tricky balance with awards shows: You don’t want to overstay your welcome, but do so little that no one notices you’re there.”
Mischer praised Samberg as a key driver in bringing viewers to this year’s show. “The host is the critical element in having fun,” he said. “I don’t mean to put you under pressure, Andy — but he’s going to be fabulous.”
He also said this year’s Emmy rule changes would make a difference, thanks to the elimination of blue-ribbon panels in selecting the final winners. “I’m very hopeful that’s going to change the show,” he said. Echoed Rosenblum: “We saw some different people getting nominated. We may see some different people walking away with the trophies.”
The panel ended with a lengthy discussion about the “In Memoriam” segment. Mischer revealed that he does get calls from family members asking that their loved ones be included. “It’s really one of the toughest assignments you’ve got when you’re producing one of these shows,” he said. “It’s difficult and it’s not perfect. But we make the best decisions we can under the circumstances.”