Now that Ken Ehrlich has been named to exec produce the 65th annual Primetime Emmys for CBS, we can turn our attention to whom the host of the Sept. 22 event might be.
CBS revealed Friday that Ehrlich had been tapped for his sixth stint exec producing the Emmys, scheduled for the Nokia Theatre. Among other recent kudos under his watch were the 2012 Grammys, which drew 40 million viewers for CBS.
“Ken has been a great partner with CBS throughout the years on many specials,” CBS Entertainment exec veep of specials, music and live events Jack Sussman said. “The incredible ratings success of the Grammy Awards, particularly in recent years, demonstrates his talent for packaging industry celebrations into exciting live television events with tremendous energy and entertainment.”
Said Academy of Television Arts & Sciences chairman and CEO Bruce Rosenblum: “This is a landmark year in television excellence, and we are confident he will produce an extraordinary show.”
Given that the Emmy host inevitably is a prominent member of the network broadcasting the event — don’t expect Tina Fey or Amy Poehler — some potential candidates come to mind. The experienced choice is Neil Patrick Harris of CBS’ “How I Met Your Mother,” who took the job when CBS last had the Emmys in 2009 and has also fared splendidly as a three-time host of the Tonys.
Alternatively, CBS and the Academy could turn to “Mike & Molly” co-star and 2011 lead comedy actress winner Melissa McCarthy, who will be coming off potential summer box office hit “The Heat,” or Kaley Cuoco (“The Big Bang Theory”), who has been quietly racking up awards hosting experience.
From the world of latenight, David Letterman doesn’t figure to be interested, but Craig Ferguson (like Cuoco, a former People’s Choice Awards host) could bring just the right sensibility.
Last year’s Emmys, hosted by Jimmy Kimmel and exec produced by Don Mischer, drew 13.2 million viewers, up from the 12.4 million for Fox and host Jane Lynch in 2011, but slightly below the 13.5 million 2010’s kudocast on NBC, hosted by Jimmy Fallon.
Nominations will be announced July 18, following a voting period from June 10-28. Academy members will then vote on the Creative Arts categories from Aug. 5-23 and on the Primetime awards from Aug. 12-30. The Creative Arts Emmys will take place Sept. 15.