The Emmy red carpet outside the Microsoft Theater started to hum Sunday afternoon with last minute preparations before the parade of stars and execs begins in earnest around 3 p.m.
The talk of the carpet was the soaring temperatures. Tenting and ceiling fans barely make a dent as the Mercury soared past 90 degrees. As much as the heat is taking a toll on journalists, photographers and on-air talent, there was lots of sympathy for police officers and security guards clad in all in black long sleeved uniforms.
A new addition to the carpet this year is a set up for Amy Poehler’s Smart Girls, which has teamed with the TV Academy to ask questions submitted via Twitter to actresses using the hashtag #smartgirlsask. Video clips of the responses will be tweeted out in real time via a cutting edge Twitter app.
“These nominees are more than what they’re wearing,” said Alee-a Blanco, head of social media for Poehler’s Smart Girls org. “They are exceptionally talented people. We want this to round out the conversation.”
Blanco said the hope was to take the question campaign to other award shows and other events even outside of the entertainment biz.
TV Academy chairman Bruce Rosenblum strolled the carpet just before the official opening. He was energized by the presence of Fox’s “NFL Sunday” broadcasting from the carpet. “That’s so cool to have them here,” Rosenblum enthused. It could also help the Emmycast draft off the huge turnout expected for tonight’s game between the Dallas Cowboys and Philadelphia Eagles.
As for the awards this year, the industry is eagerly awaiting the results of the first year when voting in all categories was thrown open to the entire academy membership through online balloting.
But Rosenblum said it will still take a few years to gauge the true impact of the voting shift.
“The real test will be a couple of years from now,” Rosenblum said. “We’ll see what it looks like when the members get used to voting online for the nominations and the final round. We are going to work hard in the next couple of years to make sure everyone knows they’re eligible.”