Writers Guild Issues Statement Regarding 61st Primetime Emmy Awards Telecast Changes

Writers Guild Issues Statement Regarding 61st Primetime Emmy Awards Telecast Changes

Writers Guild of America, West President Patric M. Verrone has issued the following statement regarding the Academy of Television Arts and Sciences' decision to remove the live presentation of two writing awards from the 61st Primetime Emmy Awards telecast:

"This action of the board of governors is a clear violation of a longstanding agreement the Writers Guilds have with the Academy of Television Arts & Sciences regarding their awards telecast. It is also a serious demotion for writing and a fundamental misunderstanding of the importance of writers in the creation of television programs. Last year's Emmys suffered a tremendous decline in quality and ratings because of a lack of scripted material. That the Academy would then decide to devalue the primary and seminal role that writing plays in television is ridiculous and self-defeating."

The Writers Guild of America, West (WGAW) is a labor union representing writers of motion pictures, television, radio and Internet programming, including news and documentaries. Founded in 1933, the Guild negotiates and administers contracts that protect the creative and economic rights of its members. It is involved in a wide range of programs that advance the interests of writers, and is active in public policy and legislative matters on the local, national and international levels.

For more information on the WGAW, visit www.wga.org.

The Board of Governors for the Television Academy on Wednesday night overwhelmingly voted in favor of a new production proposal for this year's Primetime Emmy Awards. Posed with a telecast that could run over due to expanding the number of nominees in 10 key awards categories, and the desire of broadcast partner CBS, show producer Don Mischer and the Television Academy to up the entertainment quotient in this year's program, the board voted to begin this year's Awards ceremony early, presenting a group of awards categories prior to the 5 PM telecast start time.

Those awards, spread over a variety of categories, will not be cut from the telecast. They will be presented in front of the full telecast audience and subsequently edited to eliminate lengthy walks to the stage and other "gaps" between the reading of nominees, winner announcements and acceptance speeches. The edited awards presentations will be rolled back into the show throughout the latter part of the telecast. Mischer and his team are currently evaluating which awards will be time shifted, but it was decided to begin the Primetime Emmy Awards at an earlier time. (The Red Carpet will be opened for arrivals beginning at 2 PM, and the awards ceremony start time is TBA.) It is anticipated that this procedure will provide ample time for Mischer to expand upon entertainment elements in the show.

The 61st Annual Primetime Emmy Awards will be held on September 20th on CBS-TV. Neil Patrick Harris will host the ceremony.

The Emmy® Awards recognize excellence within various areas of television and emerging media. The Emmy® Awards are administered by three sister organizations who focus on various sectors of television and broadband programming.

For our complete roundup of this year's nominees, click here.

For more information, visit www.emmys.com.