Some new tricks for big six-oh
EmptySeptember's Emmy ceremony will have a new venue and a new look and won't have "the theater in the round" setup that drew complaints from attendees last year.
"People loved it at home," said Ken Ehrlich, who executive produced last year's ceremony and will do the same again this year from the Nokia Theatre in Los Angeles. "It had a great look, but you know, you try things, you want to bring something fresh to the show."
The Academy of Television Arts & Sciences is planning a tribute to TV to mark the 60th anniversary of the Emmys this year.
"I don't think we're in the business of doing a history of television," ATAS chairman John Shaffner said, "but we are recognizing what a good time we've had giving this big party for the last 60 years."
Ehrlich said it won't just be footage from TV's past and the people who made it special.
"It's not just about seeing them, it's about seeing them in the context of what TV is today," he said.
Also in the works: a slam-bang musical number like the "Jersey Boys" tribute to "The Sopranos" or Tony Bennett's duet with Christina Aguilera last year.
"We're looking to bring some music into the show, which pleases the live audience a lot and breaks up the pacing of the awards," said Ehrlich, who also exec produces the Grammys.
Looming over the awards is the specter of a potential SAG strike, which could do to the Emmys what the WGA strike did to this year's Golden Globes. In 1980, when the Emmys were held during the SAG-AFTRA strike, the only eventual winner in attendance was Powers Boothe.
Ehrlich said that if a strike happens, they'll plan accordingly.
"I went through it with the Grammys this year, but everything worked out," he said. "I'm hopeful that's what we'll have happen this year."
After nominating and then bestowing the Emmy in the category on the "Saturday Night Live" digital short "Dick in a Box" last year, this go-round the academy recognized another viral megahit, the raunchy video "I'm F***ing Matt Damon," from ABC's "Jimmy Kimmel Live." No word if Kimmel will accompany nominee Sarah Silverman — the song's performer, co-writer and co-composer — to the ceremony. The two recently announced their split after five years.
Meanwhile, another comedy couple is thriving. "SNL" star Amy Poehler landed the first nom for a late-night player in the supporting actress in a comedy series category. Her husband, Will Arnett, was nominated for his stint on NBC's "30 Rock." "It is a happy day in the Arnett-Poehler household!" said Poehler, who is expecting their first child in the fall.
Poehler's best pal Tina Fey has become the Renaissance woman of comedy. She is nominated for best comedy series as the creator/exec producer on "30 Rock," for comedy actress for her role on the show and for writing the episode "Cooter." If that is not enough, Fey also got a nom in the performance in a variety or music program category for her hosting duties on the first post-writers strike "Saturday Night Live."
Nellie Andreeva contributed to this report.