Are you wondering what the Emmys telecast will be like Sunday?
So are Reginald Hudlin and Ian Stewart (shown here). And they’re the producers.
“Things are going to go wrong,” Stewart said. “It’s never been done before.”
Emmy ceremonies have been done; this is the 72nd one, most of them on national TV. But the others had most of the nominees in one place, ready to step onstage and gush.
This year? “We are going to have 130 cameras all over the world,” Hudlin said. “New York, Fayetteville, Connecticut, London, Toronto, Tel Aviv, Berlin …”
It adds up to about 20 cities in 10 countries, Each will be hooked up, he said, in case that nominee happens to win. And each transmission will go to the Staples Center – a basketball and concert place in Los Angeles – because it’s “the only facility that had the resources to handle all of that signal going back and forth.”
That’s not to say it will be handled perfectly, Hudlin said. On the way to this virtual news conference with reporters Wednesday, he said, “I was on a phone call with one person. The call dropped twice.”
So calls will be dropped, things will go wrong, the show may or may not end on time. “It could come way under; it could go way over,” Stewart said.
At the middle of all this will be host Jimmy Kimmel. He “loves chaos in live TV,” Stewart said. “I think he’s actually hoping things do go wrong.”
He’ll have help from lots of strong personalities — Oprah Winfrey, Patrick Stewart, Lin-Manuel Miranda, RuPaul –comedy types, including Anthony Anderson, Mindy Kaling, Bob Newhart, Ken Jeong, Ilana Glazerand Abbi Jacobson. He’ll also have a Muppet named Count Von Count and an alpaca named Isabel.
And music? Well, D-Nice will be at DJ booth and the “In Memoriam” segment, Hudlin said, will have “an extraordinary musical number by H.E.R., who is an amazing artist.”
But mostly, this will be awards and acceptance speeches. It will sort of depend on the winners, who could wear gowns and tuxedos … or go in the opposite direction.
Some, Stewart said, “are having their own Emmys pajamas made …. One person said, ‘I can bring my dogs to the Emmys.’”
Added Hudlin: “They don’t have to thank their kids who are watching (at home). They can have their kids next to them on the couch.”
And it may fit into the network’s main request, Stewart said: “One of the execs at ABC said, ‘I don’t care what you do. Just, for goodness sake, make it entertaining.”
– Emmys telecast, 8-11 p.m. ET Sunday (Sept. 20), ABC; 7 p.m. CT, 6 p.m.MT and 5 pm. PT – which will then rerun it at 8.
– The network won’t have a red-carpet preview … partly because there’s no red carpet. Instead, at 7 p.m. ET it will have “Celebrity Family Feud,” with Ray Romano against Brad Garrett and Weezer against Fall Out Boy.
– However, there will be Emmy previews on E (starting at 4:30 p.m. ET) and on the ABC News Live streaming service (at 6:30).