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Daytime Emmys Hope to Rebound in Telecast Deal with Pop

After last year’s digital debacle, the Daytime Emmy Awards ceremony is returning to TV in a deal with Pop, the former TV Guide Network cabler that was relaunched in January.

The 42nd annual Daytime Emmy telecast will originate from a soundstage on the Warner Bros. lot and air live on both coasts on April 26. Michael Levitt, a veteran events producer, will exec produce the broadcast for the New York-based National Academy of Television Arts and Sciences, which administers the Daytime Emmys.

As viewership of the telecast has steadily declined, the Daytime Emmy kudocast has bounced around several networks during the past decade, from CBS to ABC to CW to HLN. Last year, producers failed to secure a TV pact so the ceremony from the Beverly Hilton was available only via a free live stream. That resulted in a high-volume of no-shows among winners and salty language flying. Host Kathy Griffin ended the proceedings last year by walking onstage and yelling “Say goodnight” when “Young and the Restless” producer Jill Farren Phelps went on too long with her thank-yous after the CBS sudser won the top drama prize.

Bob Mauro, the newly appointed president of NATAS, is determined to rebound with this year’s fete. The ceremony will be held about two months earlier than usual in part to improve talent participation because most of the key shows will still be in production. The move to the Warner Bros. lot is an effort to add some Hollywood flair to the event.

“We’re turning the page back to the glamour days of daytime TV,” Mauro told Variety. “This show will be produced on a soundstage where everybody in that room has worked at one time or another. It will be a throwback to old Hollywood.”

For Pop, which is co-owned by CBS and Lionsgate, the Daytime Emmys is a fit because the network airs daily reruns of CBS soaps “The Young and the Restless” and “The Bold and the Beautiful.” The relaunched channel bills itself as embracing the fan’s point of view and enthusiasm for pop culture. And like TV Guide Network, Pop is active in red-carpet coverage of major awards shows.

“Our audience knows us for award shows,” Pop president Brad Schwartz told Variety. “When (NATAS) brought the idea of bringing back the Daytime Emmys in a special way, it made sense for us. We want to be involved with live events that you can’t wait and watch it on DVR.”

In its last two airings on CBS in 2010 and 2011, the Daytime Emmys averaged around 5.5 million viewers. That was weak by CBS standards but even half of that audience would be a bonanza for Pop. The cabler has a multi-year pact with NATAS for the ceremony, which should be a welcome relief for the academy.

NATAS and Pop are closing in on a host for the ceremony. Nominations will be unveiled March 26. The Creative Arts ceremony is set for April 24 at the Universal Hilton.

(Pictured: Presenters Sheryl Underwood and Sharon Osbourne at the 2014 Daytime Emmys)

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