Producer: Emmy Awards May Soon Be On Cable

Memoriam show, other changes could be coming, too

Don Mischer, producer of the Emmy Awards on Fox

Logo for the 66th annual Emmy AwardsThe Primetime Emmy Awards
could soon find a new, non-broadcast home.

“Would this show ever air on Amazon?  Or on Netflix?  Or Showtime?  Or HBO?  I think someday it will,” producer Don Mischer says.

Television’s biggest night — which routinely nabs more than 15 million viewers — has been shuffling between the four major broadcast networks since 1993.

This year’s ceremony airs September 20 on Fox.

“The current [‘wheel’ arrangement] I think is two or three more years,” Mischer says.

After that, The Academy of Television Arts & Sciences could allow the broadcast rights to flow to pay cable — or even internet streaming services — where the large and growing portion of the nominated programming originates.

In July, HBO scored 126 nods, including 24 for GAME OF THRONES.

One of the biggest challenges of airing on CBS, NBC, ABC and Fox, is the amount of time eaten up by commercials.

“It’s a three hour show [but] we only have 2:06 of program time,” Micher says.

“That is heresy when you are talking to the Motion Picture Academy or the Television Academy.  And that is one of the dilemmas for producers.”

“You have to protect the integrity of the institution and honor all of those that work in that particular business and you also have to make a show that is interesting and entertaining and funny for people all across the country.  And it is sometimes very hard to do that.”

“I sometimes feel like I am on a lake and I have one foot in one rowboat and the other foot in another rowboat and I am trying to hold them together.”

Mischer admits he also struggles with finding enough time to honor those stars and industry professionals who have recently passed away.

“When you ask viewers ‘What do you like about the Emmys?’ after the host, it is the In Memoriam [segment].  The ratings spike on In Memoriam.”

“There has been some talk,” he admits, about creating a 30 or 60 minute stand-alone special to honor the deceased.

“I once pitched a show where at the end of the year you did that.  You just took an hour.  Maybe the day before New Year’s Eve or something…”

“There are wonderful ways to remember people, remember their humor.  Let the comics tell jokes and all that.”

Sean Daly

Sean Daly

Editor-In-Chief at
Sean Daly is a veteran entertainment journalist.His work has appeared in People, Us Weekly, The Toronto Star and other top publications. He was the west coast TV reporter for The New York Post from 2008 - 2013. Sean is the author of Inside AGT: The Untold Stories of America's Got Talent and Teen Mom Confidential: Secrets and Scandals From MTV's Most Controversial Shows.
Sean Daly