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Hot off the worst ratings in the history of the Emmy Awards, producers have reportedly been tasked with finding ways to take the show in fresh directions. One direction they’re reportedly considering is going without a host which is somehow both very surprising and not at all surprising.
It’s very surprising because the Emmy Awards have only gone without a host three times ever. That’s not a ton for a yearly ceremony that’s been around since 1949, and it shows how committed all involved have been to a pretty standard formula. That being said, the move is also not at all surprising because show business is very reliant on trends. The Academy Awards saw increased ratings and some positive social media buzz by eliminating its host, and with Emmy ratings less than ideal, removing the host seems like a sensible gamble.
According to Variety, no official decision has been made. The ceremony is on September 22nd in Los Angeles, which means there is plenty of time to still interview candidates and go in a more traditional direction. My guess is producers would definitely still go with a high level A-list candidate (someone like Jerry Seinfeld), but if the options aren’t anyone terribly exciting (no offense Colin Jost and Michael Che), they’ll be content to go hostless.
This year’s ceremony is particularly important for the Emmy Awards. Game Of Thrones, The Big Bang Theory and Veep are all ending. If the numbers are down again, it’s likely a very poor sign for what the show’s potential might be over the next five years. As a general rule with awards shows, people are much more likely to tune in when there are popular movies and television shows they’ve seen and enjoy. Game Of Thrones is, without question, the most popular television show of the past decade. So, if people won’t watch to see the cast together one more time, what will they watch for?
One common complaint about awards shows is the length. People tend to get very frustrated, especially on social media, as the program drags on in its second half. In response, Oscar producers announced they would no longer be broadcasting all of the awards live on television. After a huge backlash from both Academy Awards enthusiasts and those involved with the awards relegated to commercial break announcements, the decision was rolled back, however. So, the name of the game seems to be change but not too much change.
Ultimately, I don’t really think it matters if the Emmy Awards have a host or not. What producers need to do that’s far more important is figure out ways to generate momentum and eliminate drag. The balance between bits and actual awards is very hard to find. Some years it works better than others.
We’ll keep you updated as the Emmy Awards decide what to do about the hosting situation, and we’ll bring you the nominations as they are officially announced later this summer.