Daytime Emmys Returning to Television

Courtesy of Pop
Bob Mauro of NATAS (left) and Brad Schwartz of Pop

The awards will air on Pop (formerly the TV Guild Network) with an emphasis on entertaining fans, even those who don’t watch daytime.

After a one year exile to digital-only carriage, the Daytime Emmy Awards are returning to television Sunday April 26 as part of a new two-year deal with the recently re-branded Pop cable channel (formerly the TV Guide Network).

Bob Mauro, who has been president of the New York-based National Academy of Television Arts & Sciences since November, announced the agreement Monday along with Brad Schwartz, who became president of Pop on Feb. 23.

“We have this opportunity to bring back its glory,” said Mauro, “and bring it back to television and have fun with it and really champion it.”

“In some ways we’ve got to save the Daytime Emmys,” added Schwartz, “reinvent it. Even if you don’t watch daytime TV, you’re going to love this show.”

The two-hour show which honors programs including soap operas, talk shows, game shows, morning news programs and children’s programming will air live nationwide (8 pm EST and 5 pm PST).

This will be the 42nd edition of the Daytime Emmys and the 24th year in primetime (it was on in daytime before that). In an earlier era when there were three major networks and more than a dozen daytime dramas, the awards program could pull seven million viewers. In recent years, with only four daytime dramas still on the air, the show on The CW fell to under three million and then on HLN, to under one million viewers. 



“If you look at the recent history of our shows,” said Mauro, “they have been questionable; so we have gone out and gotten a world class producer in Michael Levitt, a great venue that is going to change the look and feel of the show, and we’re going to do it in a crisp, clean two hours.”

Levitt, through his Michael Levitt Productions, has become a go-to guy for small awards shows in the past decade. His credits include producing The TV Land Awards, Radio Disney Music Awards, Young Hollywood Awards, Game Show Awards, The Soul Train Awards and many others, as well as red carpet specials for E! Entertainment Television before the Oscars, Grammys and Golden Globes.

“The daytime community consistently generates quality programing and has so much to be proud of,” said Leavitt, who is executive producing with Gary Tellalian and Mike Rothman.

For the first time the Daytime Emmys will take place on a historic soundstage leased from Warner Bros. rather than in a theater or ballroom. It will be created on Stage 16, which has been home to movies including Casablanca, Jurassic Park and Ghostbusters.

The non-televised Daytime Creative Arts Emmy Awards will be held Friday, April 24 at the Universal Hilton in Universal City.

For Pop, which is a joint venture of CBS and Lionsgate seen in nearly 80 million American TV homes, taking on the Daytime Emmys is also part of the re-invention of that brand. Once known for its rolling listings (which it no longer carries), Pop replaced the TV Guide brand  on Jan. 14 with a new focus on original and re-runs of shows for fans of popular culture.

“Adding premium live events to our schedule,” said Schwartz, “is just another exciting way we are building Pop.”

Schwartz pointed out that they already air reruns of the two top rated soap operas – The Young & The Restless and The Bold & The Beautiful – both from CBS.

They are also preparing to launch Queens Of Drama, an unscripted docu-reality show in which six former daytime and primetime soap stars (and guest stars including Joan Collins)  create a production company that is trying to launch a new daytime drama.  “It’s a drama within a drama about a drama,” said Schwartz.

No date has been set for the launch of Queen Of Drama, but Schwartz said it would be a natural to promote it on the Daytime Emmys, which means scheduling it soon.

The deal between Pop and NATAS has come together since late last year as both saw there was a natural affinity.

 “The opportunity to have our very won Emmy-branded awards show,” enthused Schwartz, “was just amazing.”

“When we looked for a network,” said Mauro, “we looked for somebody who wanted us and they did. We hope to make it a long-term relationship. The audience likeness is why were here.”

Mauro means that the viewers they want and Pop seeks are similar - primarily females 18 to 54 years of age.

The promotional problem is that there are only a handful of soap operas still on the air; and the overall audience is fragmented across broadcast, cable and digital.

“Obviously the anchor is still daytime drama,” said Mauro. “But at the end of the day, we have to become a multi-faceted daypart and we are changing the way we look at it, the way our viewers look at it and the flow of the show will reflect that.”

So the show will have to honor not just soap stars, but also talk hosts, game shows and kiddie fare. “We want a tight two hours that is amazing and fun,” added Schwartz, “and respects all the categories.”

Talk show hosts would seem to be stars who might attract viewers but some of the biggest have made a conscious decision to not even enter the competition – including top rated Ellen DeGeneres and Dr. Phil.

“We can’t force anybody to submit for an award,” admitted Mauro. “We would like everybody to submit. We encourage them to enter and we are going to be talking to each and every one of them, one on one, between now and the show.”

Last year, when the Daytime Emmys were online, they inaugurated new categories to include online shows and those from steaming services like Netflix and Amazon; although NATAS continues to struggle with defining which shows qualify since some digital programs run around the clock.

NATAS (which operates separately from the TV Academy in Hollywood which gives out Primetime Emmys) and Pop are leaving a lot of the planning up to Leavitt. He has to figure out how to present some two-dozen awards, incorporate entertainment elements and still get off on time. There is also a search on for a high profile host.

Other details still in process include how they will utilize social media; but Schwartz promised that they will have a “strong touch” in the world of Twitter, Facebook, Instagram and the rest.

“The awards are certainly why we tune in,” said Schwartz, “but it shouldn’t be the biggest reason for watching, or the most entertaining reason for watching. It’s just going to be a fun two hours.”

CORRECTIION 3/2 10:27 a.m. - The date TV Guide Network became Pop was corrected to Jan. 14. The initials for the National Academy of Television Arts & Sciences were corrected to NATAS.