October 23, 2013 2:48pm PT by Lesley Goldberg
NBC Revives American Comedy Awards (Exclusive)
NBC has acquired the American Comedy Awards and will broadcast the ceremony in May 2014.
The network has tapped Emmy winner Don Mischer, Charlie Haykel and Juliane Hare to serve as executive producers on the awards show honoring those who have achieved new heights in film and television. The ceremony will also pay tribute to some of comedy's most enduring personalities and acknowledge the work of stand-up performers.
George Schlatter created the American Comedy Awards in 1987. The special aired annually on ABC from 1987 to 2001, with Comedy Central airing the final year. In 2003, Comedy Central replaced them with its own "Commie Awards," which ended up being a one-year deal. In 2011, Viacom-owned Comedy Central teamed with Mischer to produce The Comedy Awards, which aired again in 2012. Comedy Central billed The Comedy Awards as the first multi-network, multiplatform event honoring the world of comedy. They aired across Viacom's cable networks, including MTV.
"For all of the awards shows on television, not one is devoted to comedy, and that's not so funny," Mischer said. "So we're thrilled to be part of a show that will celebrate the community of talented, innovative people who make us laugh each and every day."
"We all love a good laugh and the American Comedy Awards will be full of gut-busting material from the best comedians in our business," said Paul Telegdy, president of alternative and late-night programming at NBC. "With creative genius Don Mischer at the helm, get ready for a night of great hilarity. No joke."
Mischer is a 15-time Emmy winner and has directed or produced some of the biggest live events on TV, including the Olympics Opening Ceremony, the Academy Awards and the Super Bowl halftime show.
NBC's move to broadcast American Comedy Awards comes as awards shows and other live programming continue to be valuable properties for broadcast networks in the DVR era. The network attempted to take advantage of the appeal of live (read: DVR-proof) broadcasts with Million Second Quiz, a 24/7 game show hosted by Ryan Seacrest. That series, which aired over 10 consecutive days, did not catch on with viewers despite a massive push across all Comcast-owned properties. Meanwhile, the live elements historically have helped fuel the network's The Voice, which have yet to begin this season. NBC sits atop the ratings this season thanks in large part to DVR-proof football. This year's telecast will be produced by Don Mischer Productions.