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NBC Moves Emmy Awards Telecast To Monday for 2014

Football prospects and conflict with MTV's VMAs spur unusual move to weeknight slot

Football and a conflict with MTV’s Video Music Awards have spurred NBC to punt this year’s Primetime Emmy Awards to a Monday night in late August rather than its traditional Sunday slot.

For nearly 15 years, NBC has scheduled the Emmycast in late August when the Peacock’s turn for the ceremony comes around every four years (the telecast rotates annually among the Big Four networks) because of its obligation to “Sunday Night Football.”

NBC is the only one of the Big Four to run the kudocast in August rather than its traditional spot on the third weekend in September, on the eve of the official start of the new television season.

But the shift to a Monday berth this year comes as a surprise. NBC is boxed in by the calendar and by the need according to the Emmy Awards bylaws to have the non-televised Creative Arts Emmy Awards ceremony be held before the main event. There’s also a possibility that NBC might have an NFL game to carry on Aug. 24, given the gradual expansion of the NFL schedule during the past few years.

There’s no word yet on a host or producers for this year’s Emmycast (Jimmy Fallon seems a likely choice to return as host). The show will air live starting a 5 p.m. PT (8 p.m. ET) from the Nokia Theatre in Los Angeles.

NBC had no comment on the shift, but both the Oscars and the Golden Globes used to air on Monday nights before moving Sunday, a night that has become synonymous with big events. The Creative Arts Emmys, which always occur the weekend before the primetime kudos, had already been set for the weekend prior.

Moving the awards to Monday will keep the awards show from interfering with a potential preseason Sunday Night Football game. Four years ago, when NBC aired the Emmys in late August, the NFL aired a preseason game that night on Fox. Perhaps NBC didn’t like ceding its Sunday night football audience to a competitor, even for a preseason game.

Another possible factor: The MTV Video Music Awards have long been set to air on August 24. This isn’t the first time the Emmys have had scheduling conflicts with that awards show: In 2009, it was CBS that had to dance around MTV’s previously scheduled event.

TV bizzers will be relieved to know that the Monday schedule will not stop one of the industry’s other annual fall events: HBO says its regular post-Emmy extravaganza at the Pacific Design Center will proceed as planned. And the Motion Picture Television Fund’s regular Evening Before event is staying true to its name; it will be on Sunday, August 24.

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