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ATAS: New Emmy Procedure To Be Re-Examined

Academy of Television Arts & Sciences Chairman and CEO Dick Askin defended the recent Emmy nominations Saturday, saying the new system is a “one-year test” that will be re-examined before next year.

Under a new system, after the general vote from the academy whittles the lists down, a “blue-ribbon panel” of members chooses the final top five nominees in each major category.  The panel votes based on the one episode of each show submitted.

Speaking to a room of television critics for the first time since the nominations were released, Askin responded to constant questioning ranging from the omissions of actors such as Hugh Laurie of House and shows such as Lost to whether the Emmys are for the industry or for the viewers.

“I believe that the Emmy nominations really represent the best works that were submitted that were evaluated last season,” Askin said.  “There were at least one or two instances where I think a better submitted show would have changed the nominations.”

Emmy Awards Executive Producer Ken Erlich notably added that he was “not sure that the viewer really does care” about who was nominated and who was omitted.

Askin also said that while the Sunday, August 27 airing is not ideal, the Academy came to the decision after looking at other options including moving the show to Fox (who will air it next year) or trying it on a Monday or Thursday night. 

In other Emmy news, this year’s show will include a tribute to Dick Clark in recognition of the 50th anniversary of American Bandstand debuting on ABC.  Ken Erlich also announced the first batch of presenters, which will include Laurie, Felicity Huffman, Julia Louis-Dreyfus, Jon Stewart and Matthew Perry.