Kudofest May Have New Home
Friday, March 27, 2009
CW in negotiations to televise awards after CBS takes a pass
By MICHAEL MALONEY
After months of floating in the abyss without a venue or TV partner, the Daytime Emmys might finally have found a home.
The National Academy of Television Arts & Sciences is in discussions with the CW for a possible Aug. 31 broadcast, to be held at the Orpheum Theater in Los Angeles, though the Acad wasn't confirming the report by midweek.
A rep for the CW tells Variety, "CW confirms that they're in talks for the Daytime Emmys, but there is no deal yet."
CBS had the option to air this year's Daytime Emmys but passed, so NATAS has been looking since then for a television outlet for the upcoming show.
The news of the possible CW deal spread quickly throughout the daytime community and was met with enthusiasm.
"This keeps the Daytime Emmys from never being seen again (on network television)," says Michael Logan, soap columnist for TV Guide. "We were led to believe that nobody wanted them. This is really terrific."
"It's a wonderful thing," concurs reality TV producer Jonathan Reiner, a Daytime Emmy winner for producing "Starting Over." "It looked like the show was flatlining, and now it has a second wind, and the best place to get a second wind is on a youth-oriented network."
"Everyone's talking about it," says Michael Bruno, a daytime talent manager, who represents five of this year's prenominated actors. "People are excited, and they're already buying dresses."
Having the Daytime Emmys on the CW would seem to be a win-win for all parties. The kudocast would remain on a broadcast net, yet because the CW doesn't air any scripted daytime programming, the net could use presenters from their primetime shows and possibly even the shows that are syndicated during daytime hours.
The CW is likely to promote its primetime lineup, possibly using daytime alumni such as "Supernatural's" Jensen Ackles (formerly of "Days of Our Lives") and "Smailville's" Justin Hartley (formerly of "Passions").
"They'll probably give us presenters from 'Gossip Girl' and possibly Brittany Snow, who used to be on 'Guiding Light,' who's going to play Lily on the `Gossip Girl' spinoff," Bruno offers. "The CW will also be more likely to have an equal amount of presenters from every single daytime show."
Still, it's possible there may be a CBS daytime accent on the awards program as well.
"I don't know the production company or the specifics, but I wouldn't be surprised to see a CBS influence (on the show) given that CBS and the CW are part of the same (corporate) family," Reiner muses.
Why has there been a holdup in announcing the plans?
"Traditionally, when we had ongoing partnerships with (ABC and CBS); negotiations would have begun much earlier and would have been completed before now," a NATAS rep says.
Prior to this latest development, there was significant buzz that the Daytime Emmys were going to return to an afternoon event in New York and the ceremony would be shown on the Internet.
"If you're going to a webcast, it should be on your terms," Reiner says, "and not because the whole town has passed on your show."
"I think many of us were hoping it would be an industry luncheon," says Peter Bergman a three-time Daytime Emmy winner for his role of Jack Abbott on "The Young and the Restless." The actor points out that, over the years, the awards have included mass-appealing "I'm Too Sexy for My Shirt" music montages, which arguably took the emphasis away from the actors' performances on daytime soaps that the Emmys were supposed to be honoring.
"I hope (going to the CW) brings wonderful change," Bergman adds. "I hope this is just the change that's needed."
The CW has an opportunity to shake up the awards show, and could possibly take a page from. this year's Oscars, which had five past acting winners honor current nominees instead of airing out-of-context clips.
"That could also work at the Daytime Emmys," theorizes Kate Linder, who plays Esther Valentine on "The Young and the Restless" and also serves as a daytime governor for the Academy of Television Arts & Sciences.
"I found that charming as well as entertaining," Linder says. "Awards shows need to entertain their audiences. If there's a way to figure that out, then you've got gold — in more ways than one."