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.
Beyond the Monteith question, Ehrlich — a longtime accomplished Grammy Awards producer — made it clear that music will be a major component of the Emmy show, in no small part because he has song-and-dance man Neil Patrick Harris on board as his host — just as he did the last time he produced the Emmys four years ago. “If you do a three-hour show with Neil Patrick Harris without music, you should have your head examined,” he stressed. “He’s our secret weapon. He does it all.” Ehrlich also noted that much of his time is going to working on interstitial pieces. “We’ve come up with 10 or 12 features that go between the awards that I really feel good about. They range from music to comedy to event-oriented. It’s really what television is.” Ehrlich also teased a tentpole piece in the show that, “if it comes through, will really be something,” he promised. “It surrounds a significant television anniversary. And it doesn’t make any difference if you’re 20 years old or 60 years old, it will resonate.”