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TV Review: The 61st Primetime Emmys

Below are a selection of reviews of the 61st Primetime Emmys, which aired Sept. 20 at 8 p.m. ET on CBS.

“…The Emmys were a fast-moving, streamlined show, which made sense: the television academy was not leaving anything to chance. Mr. Harris was genial and efficient as host…And the show was funnier than usual, despite its overall antiseptic feeling. You just had to wait for the good bits. The jokey montages of writing and directing nominees were amusing.” — Mike Hale, The New York Times

“Yet as good as Harris was, he has to share credit for the show’s improvement with executive producer Don Mischer, who ingeniously restructured the show by grouping the awards by genre. It made the show seem speedier, more sensible, and — because it spread major awards throughout the evening — far more interesting.” — Robert Bianco, USA Today

“In fact, the whole montage notion was a good one - and so was the idea of subdividing the night into five separate segments…That made the whole show feel less like one long marathon march and more like what Mischer envisioned, which is top-40 radio.” — David Hinckley, NY Daily News

“From the moment he [Neil Patrick Harris] walked onstage, itself a richer and more evocative setting than last year’s bleak theater-in-the-round, you knew you were in good hands.” — Mary McNamara, LA Times

“The star of How I Met Your Mother did a standout job — starting with the hilarious opening number, during which he showed his musical talent, and continuing with his mock outrage over losing to Jon Cryer. Harris was affable, charming and simultaneously self-deprecating and comically self-aggrandizing. — Frank Scheck, The Hollywood Reporter