The Television Academy is working with ABC, CBS, NBC and Fox on a new eight-year rights deal for the annual Primetime Emmy Awards, and Variety reports that the networks are insisting that they be given more flexibility in how they handle the three-hour ceremony.
“That likely means shifting some of lower-profile awards out of the live ceremony,” Variety reports. “This is always a touchy subject for any major awards telecast because the various constituencies of the creative community have traditionally balked at moves that would appear to diminish the contributions of writers, directors and others in such categories as limited series, made-for-TV movies, variety-talk and variety-comedy.”
The Variety report adds: “Executives with the TV Academy, networks and others are just starting the outreach to discuss options for the telecast with representatives from the DGA, WGA, and SAG-AFTRA. The guilds have some sway over the process because they traditionally grant residual waivers for clips shown during the ceremony. Without those waivers, the cost of producing the Emmy telecast would grow dramatically.”
The report cites well-placed sources close to the situation who are optimistic that a compromise will be reached before this year’s telecast, scheduled for Sept. 17. This will be the last ceremony covered by the previous rights deal.