For the fourth time in history, the Primetime Emmy Awards are going host-less.
Fox, which carries the ceremony this year, and the Television Academy have decided to not have a host on the show, which takes place a month and a half from now, on September 22. Fox Entertainment CEO Charlie Collier just confirmed the news during the network’s TCA executive session.
“Our job is to assess as to how to elevate the program in the year that we have it,” Collier said of the Primetime Emmys, which rotate annually among the Big 4 networks. “If you have a host and an opening, that’s 15 or 20 minutes you can‘t have to salute the shows.”
The last time the Emmys went without a host was in 2003, also on Fox. The other previous host-less Emmy broadcasts were in 1998 (NBC) and 1975 (CBS).
This year’s Academy Awards, which were host-less by necessity after emcee Kevin Hart pulled out over insensitive past comments on social media, likely were an inspiration after the tighter ceremony ran smoothly and saw a ratings bump. Emmys producer Don Mischer argued that it is the other way around, telling Deadline last month that he already has produced a couple of Emmy shows in which he didn’t employ a host and they turned out just fine.
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“It may be much better to put this show together without a host since it has worked before and it allows us to be a little more unpredictable,” said Mischer, whose Don Mischer Productions produces this year’s ceremony with Done+Dusted.
The rationale behind the decision to go host-less was to have more time to honor TV’s best series, their casts and the talent behind them, especially in a year when so many iconic and hugely popular shows ended their runs including HBO’s Game of Thrones and Veep and CBS’ The Big Bang Theory. They are expected to be recognized at their final Emmys.
“We will go host-less to have more time to honor those shows,” Collier said at TCA. “This is a pretty unique year for some of America’s favorite shows going away.
Did the success of the host-less Oscars influence the decision?
“I think that certainly it was something that we paid attention to,” Collier said.
He noted that “there were host names on the board, but a conclusion was reached that this year, when you are highlighting so many shows that are going away, time is better spent on them.”
While the focus will be on departing hits, the ceremony won’t be all about them.
“There will be entertainment, there will be an opening number, there will be surprises,” Collier said.
Fox does not have a bench of go-to “default” hosts because it has no late-night franchises. Recent Emmy hosts on ABC, NBC and CBS have included late-night personalities Jimmy Kimmel, Stephen Colbert, Jimmy Fallon, Seth Meyers and, most recently, SNL’s Michael Che and Colin Jost last year.
The 2018 Emmy Awards on NBC averaged a 2.4 rating among adults 18-49 and 10.2 million viewers, making it the least-watched Emmys on record.
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