Entertainment TV Emmys without a host for first time since 2003: Here’s what that means

Emmys without a host for first time since 2003: Here’s what that means

Colin Jost MIchael Che
2018 Emmys hosts Colin Jost and Michael Che scored mixed reviews. Photo: Getty
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The Emmys will be without a host for the first time in 16 years, in what could be an ongoing shake-up for all awards shows.

Organisers claim the lack of high-profile front person will give an unexpected bonus to TV fans and hit shows.

This year, the Academy Awards used a smorgasbord of guest presenters to draw the show together.

Ratings soared, with the show’s quicker pace among reported factors that audiences liked.

The Emmys will be hoping for the same result after last year’s telecast – hosted by Saturday Night Live Weekend Update anchors Michael Che and Colin Jost – was the least watched on record.

What the Emmys will have are “lead hosts” anchoring various parts of the telecast.

Offers have been sent to stars to be front and centre for segments devoted to awards in key categories including comedy, drama and limited series.

“They’ll come out and introduce the category, and then we’ll have presenters in between,” Fox alternative entertainment president Rob Wade told Variety.

“And then that lead host will come back and finish the category.”

Liam Cunningham Kit Harington
Liam Cunningham and Kit Harington face the end of Game of Thrones. Photo: HBO

As to how the show might open, producers are reportedly still tossing around whether to have “a tentpole person” kickstart things then vanish.

“There obviously needs to be a human being that’s kind of ring leading the opening of the show in some way,” Mr Wade said.

“And we’ve talked about that person.”

Fox is also shaking up the September 22 event by pairing together two  producers to run the show: Don Mischer Productions and Done+Dusted.

Their mandate, according to Variety: Give the Emmys a makeover.

In 2019, that could include spending time recognising the swansong of HBO’s Game of Thrones, which has a record 32 nominations, the most ever in a single year for any series.

It’s been rumoured the two producers are also keen to honour fan favourite shows including Seinfeld, which is celebrating its 30th anniversary, and Friends and ER, which both clocked up 25.

That could see onstage reunions.

To accommodate them organisers are taking time-saving measures, such as shortening people’s stage walk ups.

Jerry Seinfeld MIchael Richards
Could the puffy shirt have an Emmys moment along with Seinfeld’s cast? Photo: NBC

Apart from Game of Thrones, which ended after eight seasons, the Emmys is saying goodbye to several other hit shows including Veep, Empire and The Big Bang Theory.

Instead of traditional comedy routines centred around a host, the telecast will dedicate valuable minutes to these shows.

“You have to look at the trade-off. If you have a host and an opening number, that’s 15-20 minutes that you don’t have to salute the shows,” Fox Entertainment CEO Charlie Collier said on Wednesday (US time).

“The conclusion we’ve reached is that in this year when we’re highlighting so many shows that are going away that it would be a really strategic use of the Emmys to not have a host.”

The more cynical view is that because it doesn’t have a late-night talk show franchise like other networks, Fox struggled to find a host it would sign off on.

“Many top-tier candidates see little upside to the gig, given the amount of scrutiny they receive in social media,” reported Variety.

Jimmy Kimmel, who has hosted the Emmys and Oscars, called hosting “a no-win type situation” earlier this week.

“It’s a very difficult job, and even when it seems like it was great, you then go home and go, like, ‘Oh, some people didn’t think it was great’.

“So if you don’t care about what people say, I think it’s a good gig. I do. So, for me, it’s kind of a f—ing nightmare.”

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