In a surprise move, CBS will air the 2010 Daytime Emmys on Sunday, June 27 at PM . CBS chose not to air the telecast last year. After numerous broadcast and cable networks turned it down, the production company ATI convinced the CW to air it in the late summer, to terrible ratings. When a date for the ceremony was announced, without a network attached, its prospects looked so bleak that I wrote a rather bitchy commentary about it yesterday. Oops.
I would never have guessed that CBS, the network that has canceled two soaps in two years, would reconsider. Kudos to ATI for making it happen. According to Variety, CBS reconsidered because the ratings for award shows in general have been rising. This is the best news daytime has had in a long time. Finally, something in the industry is going to be better than it was the year before.
While taping at the Las Vegas Hilton is surely a cost saving measure, CBS will make sure the show does not look shoddy. Having broadcast the show on numerous occasions, the network understands who the daytime Emmy audience is. Hopefully this will mean a host that is meaningful to daytime fans — even if that means someone from the world of talk or gameshows — and will keep the focus on honoring all of the daytime television genres. Last year’s telecast inexplicably made time for a dance sequence between Vanessa Williams and Gilles Marini, as well as a fashion show segment, but cut short a tribute to Guiding Light. Most embarrassing, the show cut to closing credits as Brad Bell began his acceptance speech for The Bold & The Beautiful’s first ever Best Daytime Drama series win.
This year, I hope CBS will have the class to greenlight an extensive tribute to As The World Turns as well as a memorial segment to honor Frances Reid (Alice, Days of Our Lives), James Mitchell (Palmer, All My Children) and all the other daytime heavyweights who passed away this year. All the winners should have ample time for acceptance speeches, even if it means cutting pre-taped features. For God’s sake, let the show run an extra five minutes if that’s what it takes.
While I doubt the ratings for this year’s Daytime Emmys will be anywhere near what they were during the 1990s, they are bound to be better than they were last year just by virtue of them airing on CBS. The telecast will benefit from being promoted during CBS’s daytime programming. More than anything else, this is a big morale boost for everyone who cares about daytime. It says that television shows that air before it gets dark are still worthy of being publicly honored on a major network, just like primetime television and theater. I’m sure there will be all the usual award show annoyances: the wrong people will win some categories, something that is supposed to be funny won’t be, but I am delighted that the Daytime Emmys will be back where they belong.