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Academy changes course on Emmy acceptance speeches

(Posted August 10, 2005 by Leah Yoakum)

LOS ANGELES (Hollywood Reporter) - Writers and directors, prepare your extemporaneous thank-yous.

Emmy organizers have done an about-face on a previously announced plan to shift to pre-taped acceptance remarks for winners in writing and directing categories during next month's Primetime Emmy Awards telecast on CBS.

The Academy of Television Arts & Sciences' board of governors voted Monday night to scrap the plan to have all of the nominees in top writing and directing heats pre-tape acceptance remarks well in advance of the Sept. 18 ceremony. The academy adopted the plan in April in an effort to quicken the pace of the show and allow for more variety.

In a statement issued Tuesday morning, academy officials noted that the plan to pre-tape remarks from dozens of nominees in major categories had proved unwieldy and cost prohibitive. The plan had been reluctantly endorsed by the unions representing Hollywood's writers and directors -- as a compromise to a more draconian proposal to shift all writing and directing award presentations to the lower-profile Sept. 11 Creative Arts Awards ceremony. But many of the industry's top producers and directors have not been shy about voicing their disdain for the idea.

"Everybody Loves Raymond" creator Phil Rosenthal, who earned an Emmy nomination for comedy writing for the series finale episode, made no bones about his distate for the pre-taped remarks plan last month when this year's Emmy nominations were announced. "It seems a little insulting, doesn't it," he quipped at the time.

In the statement, academy officials noted that Emmy telecast executive producer Ken Ehrlich "carefully reviewed the production logistics and elements of the Primetime telecast to see if we were accomplishing our stated goals. What we found was that some of the initial assumptions were not accurate in light of the way the show was being constructed. In effect, the amount of time being saved was not as much as originally thought and the costs incurred would be in excess of original projections. The board decided that based on this new evaluation, the acceptance speeches would be reinstated in their original fashion."

Source: AOL News

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