Emmys: Fox Bets Big on NFL Lead-In, Posting Bradshaw and Menefee on Red Carpet

Terry Bradshaw Curt Menefee Split - H 2015
AP Images

Terry Bradshaw Curt Menefee Split - H 2015

"I'm just hoping that game is really tight."

Fox is going to great lengths to get football fans to tune into this year's Emmys.

The network announced Thursday that commentary for both of its Sept. 20 NFL games will take place live on the Emmy red carpet in an effort to keep as many viewers as possible from changing the channel later that night before the annual TV kudos come on.

That means Fox NFL Sunday hosts Terry Bradshaw and Curt Menefee, with analysts Howie Long, Jimmy Johnson and Michael Strahan, will be stationed at Los Angeles' Microsoft Theater throughout the day — so expect them to drop plenty of references to the Emmy telecast and reinforce the corporate message with requisite Emmy imagery.

A likely-gargantuan lead-in, courtesy of the New England Patriots and the Philadelphia Eagles, is not lost on executive producer Don Mischer. "As a producer, I'm just hoping that game is really tight, goes down to the wire and isn't decided until the last minute or two," he told reporters at the Television Critics Association press tour. "Maybe it goes into overtime."

Mischer seemed less than concerned about overtime affecting the start of the Emmys. "I think the odds of the game running up to the time the Emmys start is very low," he said.

The 2014 Emmys brought 15.6 million viewers to an August Monday, but the 2013 telecast set eight-year highs (17.8 million viewers) with an NFL lead-in. Mischer offered, "We're very happy to be back on in September."

Emmy host Andy Samberg and TV Academy chairman and CEO Bruce Rosenblum were also on hand for the news. And while questions for Rosenblum got bogged down in the details of new Emmy rules that were cleared up months ago, Samberg offered some insights into how his version of the show might look — though he admitted its still very much in the early phases of planning.

"I'm going to cast a wide net to a lot of friends as we get closer," he said of plans for on-air and behind-the-scenes talent. Samberg also admitted that the last three years of the Golden Globes set a very high bar, as hosting goes. "Tina [Fey] and Amy [Poehler] are the standard, I think, and they're just so good at making it feel really loose with a lot of good writing underneath."