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Primetime Emmys Will Be Edgier on Fox

Telecast's exec producer says he’ll use host Jane Lynch's "Glee" alter ego "very, very sparingly."

Mark Burnett
Frederick M. Brown/Getty Images

BEVERLY HILLS – Welcome to the Primetime Emmy Awards Fox style. The annual awards show will have a little bit of an edge, promised Mark Burnett, executive producer of the show, hosted by Glee star Jane Lynch.

Burnett, who has also produced the MTV Movie Awards and the People’s Choice Awards, said he’ll be able to get away with more on Fox than he would at another broadcast network.

“Fox is an edgier network,” he said. "At MTV you’re allowed to jump off the cliff. At Fox, you’re allowed lean over and almost fall off it.”

Burnett, Lynch and Academy of Television Arts & Sciences chairman and CEO John Shaffner would not tip their hand about the specific content for the Sept. 18 telecast. But Lynch did reveal that her Glee alter ego Sue Sylvester will not be a big part of the show.

“I think we’ll probably leave her track suit on the Paramount lot,” she said.

“If there’s any nod to Sue it will be very, very minor because a little Sue goes a long way,” added Burnett.

The Emmys traditionally open with an irreverent musical number. And Lynch was part of Jimmy Fallon’s “Born to Run” opener on last year’s Emmys. She said she’s looking forward to this year’s show with “excitement, anticipation and abject fear.”

Burnett is looking to do a show that is “irreverent and fun.” But he won’t be sticking a finger in the eye of Hollywood the way Ricky Gervais did last January at the Golden Globe Awards.

But Lynch allowed that she appreciated Gervais’ performance.

“I really enjoyed Ricky Gervais’ performance,” she said. “This is the guy you’re hiring. We don’t have that kind of snarkiness that Ricky has, though I am a huge fan of it. I laughed many times at the Golden Globes.”

And Burnett drew laughs from the room at the Beverly Hilton when he said that the In Memoriam feature – which typically features a video montage of deceased industry stalwarts set to melancholy music – will be a little different this year.

“I think In Memoriam doesn’t need to be a bummer,” he said. “It can be a celebration of what’s been left behind. We can be very sad about it or very uplifted about what they left behind.”