Emmy Countdown: Behind The Scenes

by | September 19, 2009 at 1:43 PM | Emmy 2009, TV News

(Kevork Djansezian, Getty Images)

(Kevork Djansezian, Getty Images)

(AP)
By DERRIK J. LANG
AP Entertainment Writer

LOS ANGELES – The 61st Primetime Emmy Awards are days away, but Hollywood is already gearing up for Sunday’s awards. Here’s a look at what’s already going on around Tinseltown:

IN CONTROL

The direction at this year’s Emmys will be up close and personal.

The award show’s control room is located inside a booth directly on stage at the Nokia Theatre. The flat-panel-filled enclave _ more Starship Enterprise than Johnson Space Center _ is positioned opposite the orchestra. It’s from there that director Glen Weiss will steer the ceremony.

Outside the control room, five large screens will broadcast what’s happening during the show while vertical screens mounted on tracks on the stage will be used as curtains. Winners shouldn’t have trouble getting up to accept their trophies: The stairs spill out right into the front row.

ALL THE RIGHT MOVES

“Dancing with the Stars” professional dancers Karina Smirnoff and Maksim Chmerkovskiy may have called off their engagement earlier this month, but they were in perfect sync with each other Friday morning while rehearsing their award show dance routine set to T.I.’s “On Top of the World.”

The partners grooved together before being joined by several hip-hop dancers, including fourth season “So You Think You Can Dance” winner Joshua Allen and members from third season “America’s Best Dance Crew” winner Quest Crew, who lifted Smirnoff into in the air at the end of the number.

At one point during a break from practicing the routine, choreographed by Tabitha and Napoleon D’umo from “So You Think You Can Dance,” Smirnoff and Chmerkovskiy adjusted their costumes. She playfully shook her tassel-covered pants while he adjusted his glittery suspenders under his vest.

MARQUIS MOMENT

Ben McKenzie and Michael Cudlitz don’t just play partners on the NBC cop drama “Southland” – they also have each other’s backs on the pre-Emmy party circuit.

McKenzie and Cudlitz were hanging out Thursday at the Entertainment Weekly and Women in Film party at “Restaurant” of the Sunset Marquis Hotel in West Hollywood.

Television stars of all stripes took in the free booze and hand-passed finger food _ the mini beef Wellington bites were a big hit _ at the magazine’s 7th annual pre-Emmy bash.

Rich Sommer of “Mad Men” wore a suit-and-tie befitting the head of the Television Department at Sterling Cooper, while Melinda McGraw (who plays Bobbie Barrett, one of Don Draper’s many conquests in the AMC show’s second season), showed up solo in a ravishing yellow dress.

MY EMMY MOMENT

Past winners recall the moments they won their first Emmy:

“I remember being nervous about whether I was going to win or not, and I thought, ‘I better just come with one line so I don’t have to … .’ I thought, ‘I’ll come up with a funny line.’ And I said, ‘If I win I’ll have a funny line.’ So, I thought, ‘This is all very well and good, but I’m still bald.’” – Larry David, comedy series winner in 1993 for “Seinfeld.”

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AP writers Michael Cidoni and Josh L. Dickey contributed to this report.

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