Mischer to exec produce Emmys

Industry vet to head telecast for ninth time

Kudocast vet Don Mischer has been tapped to exec produce the 61st annual Primetime Emmy Awards telecast, airing Sept. 20 on CBS.

It’s the ninth Emmycast for Mischer, whose long resume of televised live events ranges from Olympics Opening Ceremonies to Super Bowl halftime shows, as well as the concert at the Lincoln Memorial in January celebrating the inauguration of Barack Obama. Mischer has earned 13 Emmys.

“He knows how to bring excitement and pageantry to live events, and how to produce memorable moments on television,” CBS Entertainment prexy Nina Tassler said. “He’s proposed some exciting new ideas for this year’s Primetime Emmy Awards.”

Ken Ehrlich produced the Emmycast from 2005-08. Mischer, who most recently produced the broadcast in 2004, will attempt to rally the ceremony from what is widely believed to be its nadir: last year’s clumsy outing (televised by ABC), epitomized by hosts Tom Bergeron, Heidi Klum, Howie Mandel, Jeff Probst and Ryan Seacrest joking feebly about having no idea what they should be doing.

“It was hideously awful from start to harried finish,” wrote USA Today critic Robert Bianco, “dragged down by five amateurish reality anchors who would have been unwelcome as guests, let alone hosts.” A response to the 2008 broadcast would be in the works no matter who was in charge, but TV Academy chair John Shaffner was particularly “thrilled” to have Mischer onboard.

“He has spent a lot of time thinking about the Primetime Emmy telecast,” Shaffner added, “blending forward and creative thinking with a deep knowledge of and respect for the integrity of the Emmy.”

Emmy noms will be unveiled July 16.

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