Emmys to get infusion of energy, excitement

GOOD MORNING: The 45th Emmys Sept. 19 will be an event — if exec producer Don Mischer achieves that goal. And it will all start well in advance of airtime , with doors opening early — 3:45 p.m. Emmy fans, for the first time, will get the same kind of space outside the auditorium as Oscar’s rooters. And that outside action, with yours truly interviewing the nervous arrivees, will be captured by five stationary cameras and a squadron of hand-helds transmitting to the seated-awaiting Pasadena audience, and following to viewers at home — thus hopefully building up the show early on. And to continue the live feeling, Paula Poundstone will be camera’d backstage accompanying emotional winners through the amazing maze to the press rooms. “This is the most respected TV award,” reminds Mischer. “And we want to give that feeling of excitement to the viewers.” He’s readying a letter to the nominees reminding them to limit their acceptances to 30 seconds. “You don’t have to be eternal to be immortal,” he says, also asking them to limit their remarks to professional thank yous (you know what he means). The names of all nominees in each category will be announced — even where they number 55 (!), but only one winning representative will be allowed to speak; he/she will be chosen in advance and announced (on the air) as the spokesperson when the winning show’s announced. Mischer, a three-time Emmy winner, reviewed those shows in which he — and others in the nominated group — spoke ad infinitum and he notes, “It was boring!”… Also part of the plan to keep the show moving is the use of single presenters, “which will avoid award-show banter.” He has a plethora of presenter volunteers, by the way … There are 27 awards, which leaves only 35 minutes to do everything else on the show. There will be no singing or dance acts. “I’m going to try hard to get off the air on time (three hours). The ratings dip precipitously when you go over –.” But he said ABC’s Ted Harbert said, “I don’t worry about the ratings, we want a good, respectful show with integrity.” ABC has made no effort to minimize the number of clips from cable nominees — which outnumber the nets’. “TV’s the most popular medium in the world; a lot of people don’t have cable and they’ll now get to see clips from very important shows they didn’t get,” Mischer said. “It will help them see the quality of things on the air”… One seg will include the making of a half-hour comedy show — taped, not staged, at Garry Shandling’s “Larry Sanders Show,” which received eight nominations. “Glamour” awards will be sprinkled throughout the show, which opens with supporting actor/actress in a sitcom category. Paul Reiser and Helen Hunt will co-star in a seg about a TV show of the future … Lou Horvitz directs, Michael Seligman is associate producer and Ian Fraser is musical director, batoning a 35-piece orch. Bob Keene designed the set, which boasts an 18-foot-tall revolving Emmy. Mischer again noted there’s great representation of the nets across the board on the show and the tix that were not bought by CBS and NBC were snatched up by others immediately … The nominees will be pre-toasted Sept. 13 at the Westwood Marquis Hotel … Mischer follows with the “Kennedy Center Honors” Dec. 5. He loves that show, too.

ATERRIFIED Anna Steiger, Rod’s opera singer daughter, phoned her father on his Budapest location of “Living on Borrowed Time” to report she was in a Dublin bank when gun-wielding IRA terrorists forced her and others to lie on the floor, robbed them of everything. Rod was at a peaceful state dinner with Hungary’s President Arpal Goncz in the presidential palace. Joining Rod in his movie are John Heard and Elena Da Vinci as Heard’s wife … Dean Cain, who plays Superman and Clark Kent in Lorimar-WB-ABC’s “Lois and Clark: The New Adventures of Superman,” will half-time ABC’s season-opening “Monday Night Football” in D.C. between Washington and Dallas. Cain, an ex-Princeton All-American and Buffalo Bills free safety, will also add color commentary and — footage of his new series, natch … Lane Smith, who plays the Daily Planet’s editor in “Lois and Clark,” says the series is such a “family show,” he’s only permitted to say “hell” once per seg! Smith admits he was “on the fence” about doing a series, having segued from major roles in features “My Cousin Vinny,””The Mighty Ducks, “”The Distinguished Gentleman” and “Son in Law,” but admits the TV’er “is totally outrageous, total theater!”

TOTALLY CLEAN — says Ike Turner, who heads to a Munich date next month with three girl singers. “When I went to jail, I got my life back. A lot of people don’t get a second chance — but I intend to use it to the hilt.” No, he has not seen “What’s Love Got to Do With It.””I don’t want to see it,” he adds … Paul Newman has signed on as chairman of the “Children Under Siege: An Evening of Music for the Children of Bosnia-Herzegovina” benefit at the Greek Theater Oct. 14. It’s not a political event — but a fundraiser for the innocent victims … And Stephen Stills joins the all-star lineup for the first “Rendez-Vous in L.A.” concert-cuisine night of French-American talent to promote cultural exchanges between our two countries.

More Voices

  • Tony Awards Sightlines Column

    How to Produce the Tony Awards: 5 Unsolicited Tips

    GOOD MORNING: The 45th Emmys Sept. 19 will be an event — if exec producer Don Mischer achieves that goal. And it will all start well in advance of airtime , with doors opening early — 3:45 p.m. Emmy fans, for the first time, will get the same kind of space outside the auditorium as […]

  • Under the Silver Lake

    Cannes 2018's Hidden Thrill: The Opportunity to Find New Voices

    GOOD MORNING: The 45th Emmys Sept. 19 will be an event — if exec producer Don Mischer achieves that goal. And it will all start well in advance of airtime , with doors opening early — 3:45 p.m. Emmy fans, for the first time, will get the same kind of space outside the auditorium as […]

More From Our Brands

Access exclusive content