Some new tricks for Emmy's six-oh

Pulling out all the stops for the 60th anniversary event

NEW YORK -- September'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."

Nellie Andreeva in Los Angeles contributed to this report.
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