Originally created 07/21/98

Emmy ceremony will be no-host, four-hour affair



PASADENA, Calif. -- And this year's Emmy host is ... nobody.

Instead of a single master of ceremonies for the 50th anniversary bash, the Emmy Awards will showcase a number of veteran actors and fresh faces as presenters, producer Don Mischer said Monday.

"We want it to feel like the entire television industry has come together for this night," he told the Television Critics Association.

Mischer noted an awards show truism: When a ceremony goes wrong, it's almost always because of the host.

"There are very few people that generally do that well," he said, citing Oscar host Billy Crystal as one of the standouts.

Emmy presenters won't be chosen until after the nominations are announced, an event scheduled for shortly after 5:30 a.m. on Thursday.

The four-hour Emmy ceremony will air Sept. 13 on NBC. East Coast viewers will see the show live from 7-11 p.m.; it will be seen on tape delay in the West.

Mischer denied reports that top names had turned down the host's job, saying the idea of a no-host Emmys had been under consideration for some time.

NBC was said to have wanted Jerry Seinfeld in the role.

Mischer said he wouldn't change his mind even in one-time emcee champ Johnny Carson was available.

The former "Tonight Show" host has shunned the spotlight, although he has been invited to take part in the Emmys show many times, Mischer said.

"One year he told me he'd rather sit in Malibu and watch the hummingbirds mate," the producer recalled.

As part of the anniversary theme, the ceremony will look back at such past Emmy winners as Fred Astaire, Laurence Olivier and Harry Belafonte.

Also under consideration are segments on the theme "It Seemed Like a Good Idea at the Time," recalling famously bad shows.