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The Primetime Emmy Awards on Sept. 22 will have one major thing in common with the Oscars: It will not feature a host.
Fox Entertainment CEO Charlie Collier on Wednesday announced that the 71st Emmy Awards ceremony — set to air on the newly independent broadcast network — will be host-less.
“It’s our job to assess how to elevate the program … and what’s interesting about this year is how many amazing shows we’re saying goodbye to: Game of Thrones, Empire, Veep, Big Bang Theory — this is new to me, I’ve never worked on the Emmys before. You have to look at trade-offs; if you have a host and opening number, that’s 15 to 20 minutes you don’t have to salute the shows,” Collier said at the Television Critics Association’s summer press tour. “Our production team has had to balance those trade-offs. I think it will give us more time to honor those shows.”
“The Oscars did very well,” the exec added of the host-less ceremony that saw its ratings improve year-over-year. “That was something we paid attention to. This is a unique year for some of America’s favorite shows and producers came to conclusion that spending more time on those was the right thing to do.”
This will be the first time since 2003 — when the awards show also aired on Fox — that there has not been a host for TV’s biggest night. The Emmys also went without a host in 1998 (on NBC) and 1975 (on CBS).
Brooklyn Nine-Nine star Andy Samberg was the last to host the Emmys when the ceremony was broadcast on Fox. The Universal TV-produced comedy was canceled by Fox in 2018 and quickly picked up at the studio’s network counterpart, NBC.
Fox is now an independent broadcast network with no studio counterpart following Disney’s $71.3 billion acquisition of its film and TV studios, among other assets. Following the Disney deal, Fox has re-emerged as a slimmed-down independent broadcast network with a greater focus on sports (it has rights to MLB, WWE and the NFL). The bulk of Fox’s current scripted originals are still owned by the Disney-controlled 20th TV.
The Emmys rotate among each of the Big Four broadcast networks.
ABC’s host-free Oscar ceremony actually ticked up in the ratings last year after Kevin Hart dropped out of the hosting gig after the actor-comedian’s years-old homophobic tweets resurfaced.
Saturday Night Live‘s Michael Che and Colin Jost hosted last year’s Emmys ceremony, which aired on NBC.
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