Cory Monteith will be among the deceased to whom special tribute is paid at Sunday’s Primetime Emmy Awards in an effort to appeal to a younger generation, the Emmy show’s exec producer Ken Ehrlich told reporters on a conference call this morning. On Monday, CBS and the TV Academy announced that, in addition to what has become the traditional In Memoriam segment, the Emmycast also will include special tributes to recently deceased industry figures James Gandolfini, Gary David Goldberg, Jonathan Winters, Jean Stapleton and Monteith. Some reporters on the call questioned the inclusion of the former Glee star, while others felt more deserving folks, including Larry Hagman and Jack Klugman, were left out.
“Cory’s appeal was to maybe a little different generation than some of the others, and we felt they needed to be represented,” Ehrlich said, reminding the reporters Monteith was “just 31” when he died under “very tragic circumstances.” “It was important to be responsive to younger viewers, to whom Cory Monteith meant as much as the other four individuals meant to their own generations. We made the choice it was important to have, as part of these segments.” Ehrlich admitted that when the decision was made to include Monteith, “there was discussion about the fact that this probably is going to become an interesting topic of conversation. We stand by what we’re doing.” Read More »
Ray Richmond contributes to Deadline’s TCA coverage.
“Something that reflects an homage” to late Glee star Cory Monteith is in the works for the September Emmy ceremony, but “what the extent of that is, or how we’re going to approach it… well, it’s too early to tell, Emmy Awards executive producer Ken Ehrlich told Deadline in an exclusive interview during a break today at TCA. But Ehrlich admitted he has been receiving some pressure to pay larger tribute to Monteith, which presents the producer of a three-hour celebration of television with a certain dilemma. “If Cory had passed away in March, we’d have had four months to look at this with a little more perspective,” he said. “The reason we’re getting all of this discussion now is because he passed away two weeks ago. But we are going to deal with it.” He added that an homage to Monteith involving music that’s done separately from the annual “In Memorium” honor roll of those who have passed away is indeed under consideration. Read More »
There will likely be a lot of musical numbers at this year’s Primetime Emmys. Veteran awards and music show producer Ken Ehrlich has been named executive producer of the 65th Primetime Emmy Awards, which will be broadcast September 22 on CBS live from Nokia Theater L.A. Live. This will be Ehrlich’s sixth time executive producing the Emmys. He succeeds another veteran awards show producer, Don Mischer, who helmed the Emmys last year. The gig stems from Ehrlich’s close relationship with CBS where he executive produces the highly rated Grammy telecast as well as the Grammy Nominations concert and has done a slew of other specials. “Ken has been a great partner with CBS throughout the years on many specials,” said CBS’ EVP Jack Sussman. “The incredible ratings success of The Grammy Awards, particularly in recent years, demonstrates his talent for packaging industry celebrations into exciting live television events with tremendous energy and entertainment.” With their choice, CBS and the TV Academy are going in the same direction as ABC and the Academy, which also recently selected producers who have strong music background for the Oscars, Neil Meron and Craig Zadan.
Ehrlich’s first order of business will be to find a host for the Emmys. Given how hands-on CBS is, the network will likely play a major role in selecting the emcee. For me, there is one obvious choice, comedy’s “it” girl Melissa McCarthy, star of the network’s Mike & Molly, who has been sizzling as host of Saturday Night Live. Given Ehrlich’s music pedigree, the show could bring back How I Met Your Mother‘s Neil Patrick Harris, who received great reviews when he hosted the Emmys the last time they aired on CBS. Read More »