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.
In his more than 30-year career, Ehrlich also has produced The Blockbuster Awards, The Alma Awards, The Latin Grammy Awards, The European MTV Awards and The MTV Movie Awards, which he created in 1992. He was the producer/creator of the award-winning Soundstage series for public television, and also created VH1’s Divas and produced the LIVE8 show from Philadelphia. Ehrlich also has been involved in the creation and production of numerous music-related series, including Motown Live and The Dennis Miller Show and produced Fame as well as numerous music specials.