Organizers drop plan to change Emmys format

Wed Aug 12, 2009 7:03pm EDT
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By Jill Serjeant

LOS ANGELES (Reuters) - The Television Academy and broadcaster CBS on Wednesday reversed a plan to drop live presentations in some categories during the September 20 Emmy awards ceremony after a backlash within the industry.

In a bid to boost ratings and focus the three-hour show on big stars and popular shows, organizers planned to tape award handouts for writing, directing and supporting actor and actress in the best TV movie and miniseries categories.

The idea infuriated TV writers, directors and broadcasters, including cable channel HBO, whose shows were among those most likely to be affected.

After two weeks of criticism, Academy chairman John Shaffner said the plan had been dropped.

"This decision was made to mend relationships within the television community and to allow executive producer Don Mischer to focus his full attention on producing the creative elements in the telecast," Shaffner said in a statement.

"Our goal is to celebrate the year in television, honor excellence and this year's great achievements with the support of our industry colleagues and our telecast partner, CBS."

Awards for all 28 categories will be presented in the live broadcast hosted by Los Angeles actor Neil Patrick Harris of the "How I Met Your Mother" television show.

HBO, home of critically-acclaimed shows like polygamy drama "Big Love" and the "Entourage" comedy series, leads this year's pack with 99 nominations. Its made-for-TV movie "Grey Gardens" got 17 nominations alone.   Continued...

<p>Guests arrive at the 59th Primetime Emmy Awards in Los Angeles, California September 16, 2007. REUTERS/Lucy Nicholson</p>