LOS ANGELES (Reuters) — Organizers of the twice-canceled Emmy Awards, television’s highest honors, said Wednesday the show will go on — probably next month, possibly at a military base or a hotel ballroom without an audience.
Officials of the Academy of Television Arts and Sciences, which sponsors the Emmys, planned to discuss their options later in the day with CBS brass and Emmy executive producer Don Mischer, an academy spokeswoman told Reuters.
The show was postponed from originally being shown on Sept. 16 because of the national mourning for victims of the air assaults on the Pentagon and World Trade Center. It was reset for last Sunday, and then canceled when the United States began air attacks on Afghanistan that day.
Emmy organizers have said millions of dollars were at stake for CBS and the Academy in the decision to postpone the awards.
CBS had paid $3 million for broadcast rights and stood to earn hundreds of thousands of dollars for each of some 40 minutes of commercial airtime during the three-hour telecast.
“The show will go on somehow,” said academy spokeswoman Jennifer Pryce. “They’re trying to find out what’s financially feasible or do-able, and hopefully a decision will be made today or tomorrow.”
A CBS spokeswoman, Nancy Carr, sounded a less certain note, saying only, “The academy and CBS want to find a way to make the Emmys happen, but right now there’s no final decision regarding where, when or how.”
Organizers denied that the postponement last Sunday was due to security concerns, though many participants and guests clearly had reservations about attending a high-profile event on the same day as the air strikes.
Pryce said it appeared likely the awards will now be presented sometime in November, with a number of options under consideration, including the possibility of broadcasting a pre-taped show from a hotel ballroom without a live audience.
Another idea “that’s been floated out there as a possibility” was to stage the Emmys at a military base, but that concept has its own difficulties, she said.
“They’d have to get permission from the military, and at a time of war, do they really want a show going on, with tanks in the background?” Pryce said.