×
You will be redirected back to your article in seconds

Emmys: TV Biz on Edge With Industry Shakeups and Ceremony’s Move to Monday

Michael Che, Colin Jost and Lorne Michaels have their work cut out for them on Monday night.

“Saturday Night Live” stars Che and Jost will take the stage at the Microsoft Theater this evening as hosts of the 70th annual Primetime Emmy Awards, to air live on NBC at 5 p.m. PT. “SNL” boss Michaels is executive producing.

The TV biz is hoping to pull out the usual razzle-dazzle in downtown Los Angeles. But the Emmys this year land at a time when the industry is still reeling from the aftershocks of #MeToo scandals and the disruption that is driving the M&A madness that has been the talk of the town ever since Disney set its sights on 21st Century Fox last year.

This turmoil will be squarely addressed in the opening number of the show. A source said it will be a splashy production number featuring a mix of “SNL” players and other TV stars — Kate McKinnon, RuPaul Charles and Sandra Oh are expected to be among them — that will reference the choppy waters the industry has navigated of late.

Even the move of the ceremony to Monday night this time around (to keep out of the way of NBC’s “Sunday Night Football”) has attendees on edge.

“It just feels a little off this year,” said one partygoer at the Evening Before bash in Century City.

The three-day weekend of pre-parties leading up to tonight’s main event became an endurance test for many. By Sunday night, it wasn’t that much of a shock that a physical scuffle broke out between Tom Arnold and Mark Burnett as they entered the ritzy fundraiser for the Motion Picture Television Fund.

The buzz at the weekend’s bashes was less about who will win the top awards and more about who’s getting fired and who’s buying who. The demise of Leslie Moonves at CBS and the continued uncertainty about Disney’s integration plans for 21st Century Fox assets put a damper on the enthusiasm for pure-play partying.

HBO’s “Game of Thrones” and Hulu’s “The Handmaid’s Tale” are seen as the shows to beat in the hunt for the top drama prize; Amazon’s “The Marvelous Mrs. Maisel” and FX’s “Atlanta” are the frontrunners on the comedy series. The playing field seems to be more wide open than in years past, which should add a little suspense to the night.

Maury McIntyre, president and chief operating officer of the Television Academy, predicted that the final winners this year will include a lot of surprises because of what he called a “double digit” spike in voting among the Television Academy’s 20,000-plus members.

“People are really energized about all of the great work going on in television,” McIntyre told Variety. “This isn’t a year when we all think ‘Oh this show is absolutely going to win,’ so people really wanted to get in there and cast their vote.”

More TV

  • Arrow -- "Elseworlds, Part 2" --

    'Elseworlds, Part 2' Recap: Batwoman's 'Arrowverse' Story Begins

    SPOILER ALERT: Do not read if you have not yet watched “Elseworlds, Part 2” the second part of the 2018 “Arrowverse” crossover, which aired Dec. 10. “Arrow’s” leg of the “Elseworlds” crossover had a little more to think about than “The Flash’s,” mainly because it served as the first introduction to Ruby Rose’s Batwoman. For [...]

  • Michael Uslan's U2K Becomes Asia-Hollywood Formats

    Michael Uslan's U2K Becomes Asia-Hollywood Formats Pipeline (EXCLUSIVE)

    Michael and David Uslan, the father and son producing team with credits that include “The Dark Knight” and “Sabrina: Secrets of a Teenage Witch” have struck a cluster of deals that makes them a two-way conduit for TV formats between Hollywood and Asia. U2K, a company that includes the Uslans and Jon Karas (“Believe in [...]

  • Court TV Brand to Resurface as

    Court TV Brand to Resurface as New Channel From Scripps Co.

    Court TV is back in session. The cable TV channel that once carried gavel-to-gavel live coverage of high-profile trials will be revived by a new owner, nearly a dozen years after it was shuttered by Turner Broadcasting. Katz Networks, a division of E.W. Scripps Co., plans to revive Court TV as a new channel designed [...]

  • Gina Rodriguez Carmen Sandiego

    TV News Roundup: Netflix's Carmen Sandiego Series With Gina Rodriguez Sets Premiere Date

    In today’s TV news roundup, Netflix announced a premiere date for its upcoming Carmen Sandiego series and Stars released the premiere date for its original comedy series “Now Apocalypse.” DATES Lifetime will debut a new Gretchen Carlson documentary Jan. 14 at 10 p.m. ET/PT, Variety has learned exclusively. The two-hour special titled “Gretchen Carlson: Breaking [...]

  • Craig Hunegs WB

    Craig Hunegs to Exit Warner Bros. TV Group and Digital Networks (EXCLUSIVE)

    After nearly 25 years in the Warner Bros. family, Craig Hunegs is exiting his post as head of business for Warner Bros. TV Group and president of the studio’s digital networks wing. Hunegs said he has been discussing his exit with Warner Bros. chairman-CEO Kevin Tsujihara for the past several months. At a time of [...]

  • 'Walking Dead' Profits Dispute Heading to

    'Walking Dead' Profits Dispute Heading to Trial

    The long-running legal battle between Frank Darabont and AMC over profits from “The Walking Dead” will run a bit longer, as a judge ruled Monday that the case must go to trial. Darabont and CAA sued the network back in 2013, arguing he was deprived of $280 million in profit participation because AMC did not [...]

More From Our Brands

Access exclusive content