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ATAS Reverses Restrictions on Emmy Speeches

Aug 9, 2005  •  Post A Comment

The Academy of Television Arts & Sciences board of governors voted Monday night to not restrict the speeches of writers and directors winning awards during the Sept. 18 Primetime Emmy Awards telecast.

The decision reverses an April announcement that nominees in the six prime-time writing and directing categories would have to prepare pre-taped remarks, which would be played as the winner walked to the stage. Sources said writers and directors upset about the decision had made threats, including not preparing tapes, preparing tapes that mocked the Emmys and boycotting the telecast.

“Some of the initial assumptions were not accurate in light of the way the show was being constructed,” the academy said in a statement. “In effect, the amount of time being saved was not as much as originally thought, and the costs incurred would be in excess of original projections.”

The reversed plan was the result of viewer focus-group research seeking ways to make the awards more exciting.

The 2004 broadcast was seen by 14 million total viewers, the second-lowest-rated Emmy awards in history. Last month, Grammy Awards producer Ken Ehrlich was tapped to executive produce the ceremony, taking the reins from veteran Emmys producer Don Mischer.