Following in the footsteps of the 91st Academy Awards ceremony and the Academy of Motion Picture Arts & Sciences, the Academy of Television Arts & Sciences have also decided to forego the use of a host for the 71st Primetime Emmy Awards ceremony taking place on Sunday, September 22 at the Microsoft Theater in Los Angeles, California. This marks just the fourth time in the history of the Emmys that the ceremony will not feature a host.
The last time the Emmy Awards ceremony went hostless was in 2003. The ceremony also went hostless during the 50th edition in 1998 and the 27th edition in 1975. While this year's Emmys ceremony won't feature a host, just as the Oscars ceremony didn't, the reasoning behind the Television Academy's decision to forego one is certainly more pragmatic than that of the Academy of Motion Picture Arts & Sciences, which found itself without a host after comedian Kevin Hart stepped down following the resurfacing of past homophobic tweets and jokes.
There were no offensive jokes involved in the decision to forego a host for this year's Emmy Awards. The decision, rather, lays on the Television Academy's desire to honor departing shows, such as Game of Thrones, using up the time that would have otherwise been taken up by a host for a monologue and other bits of entertainment throughout the night.
According to USA Today, Fox Entertainment chief, Charlie Collier confirmed during the Television Critics Association press tour that the ceremony will not feature a host and that it was a result of the Television Academy's desire to honor several exiting series. "If you have a host and opening number, that's 15 or 20 minutes you can’t use to salute the shows," Collier said. "The conclusion was reached that this year, because we were highlighting so many shows going away, that it would be useful to save the time."
Collier also confirmed that, while people had been considered for the host role, Fox never actually offered the job to anyone. Parks and Recreation's Amy Poehler also commented on the decision to not have a host for this year's ceremony, pointing out how well the Oscars went without one. "It seems like the Oscars went well without a host. I’m sure the Emmys will, too," Poehler said. "Those shows are a beast ... it should just be a fun party. Think about how fun it is when you go to a party and you don't know who’s throwing it!"
Comedian and late-night host Jimmy Kimmel, who hosted the Emmys in 2012 and 2016, as well as the Oscars in 2017 and 2018, told USA Today on Monday that he has no desire to host again. "It's a 'no-win situation.' It was a very difficult job," Kimmel said of hosting the Academy Awards in back-to-back years. "If you don't care what people say, it's a good gig. But I do, so for me, it's a [expletive] nightmare."
Kimmel, of course, oversaw one of the biggest awards show blunders perhaps ever after Warren Beatty and Faye Dunaway announced the wrong winner of the Academy Award for Best Picture at the 89th Academy Awards in 2017. Kimmel also drew criticism for overlong bits during his two year run as Oscars host in which he had a bus tour of fans enter the Dolby Theater in 2017 and for interrupting a screening of A Wrinkle in Time with several celebs to hand out snacks to moviegoers at a multiplex next door in 2018, both of which contributed to bloated runtimes.
While the 71st Primetime Emmy Awards won't feature a host, the ceremony will feature the typical star-studded lineup of presenters including much of the main cast of Game of Thrones; late-night presenters Stephen Colbert, Seth Meyers and Jimmy Kimmel and many others, including Angela Bassett, Michael Douglas and Zendaya. How the Television Academy intends to honor the departing shows at this year's Emmy Awards remains to be seen.
The 71st Primetime Emmy Awards will air live on Fox at 8 PM EST on Sept. 22. The 71st Primetime Creative Arts Emmy Awards will take place over two nights on Sept. 14-15 and a broadcast can later be viewed on FXX on Sept. 21 at 8 PM EST.
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