Emmys 'Nightmare': Limo Arrivals Downsized, Carpools Encouraged

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NBC shifted the awards show to Monday this year to avoid a conflict with an NFL preseason game, but it's causing logistical headaches for planners

This story first appeared in the Aug. 1 issue of The Hollywood Reporter magazine.

Red-carpet arrivals at this year's Emmy Awards might be more about frustration than fashion. NBC's football-friendly decision to shift the TV kudos from its traditional Sunday perch to Monday, Aug. 25 — to avoid a conflict with a preseason NFL game — has prompted a chain reaction of logistical shifts that multiple planners describe as a "nightmare." Since moving to the Nokia Theatre in 2008, the Emmys have not been forced to navigate a workday in downtown L.A. In addition

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to the crunch of rush-hour traffic leading up to the live 5 p.m. telecast, multiple parking venues will be full of commuters, and adjacent artery Figueroa Street will not shut down as it has in previous years. One way the TV Academy is trying to downsize the inevitable gridlock is by cutting back on how many cars can drop off guests.

Networks and studios have seen their limousine allotment reduced by as much as 50 percent — though some anticipate that could change. The carpet itself has been reconfigured, with the step-and-repeat now running the full length of Chick Hearn Court instead of twisting around the L.A. Live courtyard. And the Monday move is being felt in other ways. Many nominated series (ABC's Modern Family, for example) have been forced to go on hiatus for the day, and Aug. 25 is the first day of school at some L.A.-area schools.

Emmy organizers are encouraging attendees to carpool and remain optimistic. Previewing the telecast with reporters early in July, TV Academy chairman and CEO Bruce Rosenblum shrugged off complaints that the shift is "annoy­ing" — and show producer Don Mischer even suggested the change might bolster the TV audience beyond last year's 17.6 million viewers. "I think we may have an advantage of being on Monday night because it's still summer," he said. "I think we stand a chance of getting more attention."