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There's No Host for the Emmys – Good Idea?
September 17, 2019  | By Mike Hughes  | 1 comment

This year's Emmy telecast (Sunday at 8 p.m. ET on Fox) will have lots of hosts – smart, slick, funny ones.

It's just that, well, none of them will actually be hosting. No one will.

Jimmy Kimmel, Seth Meyers, and Stephen Colbert have all been witty award show hosts. This time, alas, they're merely presenters.

They will, at least, get a chance to amuse us briefly. And to remind us that shows need hosts.

"I personally remember Billy Crystal hosting (the Oscars) and Steve Martin hosting," Kimmel said at a session during the Television Critics Association Press Tour this summer. "I wasn't as interested in the acting awards as I was in seeing how (they) would handle the show."
Many viewers share that disinterest in the awards themselves. That's true of the Oscars, for instance. Gone are the days when popular mega-movies, such as Titanic and Gandhi, dominated. Few people had seen such best-picture winners as Moonlight or The Hurt Locker. Or the Emmys. TV is better than ever, but the top shows are more spread out. This is no longer a world ruled by ABC's Modern Family or CBS' Big Bang Theory or NBC's West Wing.
Look at the 25 Emmy nominees for best drama, comedy, movie, and mini-series; exactly two (NBC's This is Us and The Good Place) are on a broadcast network. Or try the 25 nods for best actor or actress; four (three from This Is Us and Ted Danson from The Good Place) are from broadcast.
To know all the nominees, viewers need basic cable plus HBO, Showtime, Netflix, and Amazon Prime. Many don't, making the awards less interesting – especially with acceptance speeches listing agents and such.
Then doesn't the show need something to entertain us – a host's monologue, for instance? Kimmel views that whimsically. "I am in the unique position of being the host that, after I hosted, they decided they didn't need a monologue anymore," he said, adding that the Oscar ratings were higher without him. 

Well, there's more to it than that: Kevin Hart was chosen to follow Kimmel then was ousted due to long-ago remarks in his stand-up act. The Oscars had the perfect alternative – a rousing opener with Queen and Adam Lambert, doing songs from the nominated Bohemian Rhapsody movie.
That can work sometimes; it works for the Grammys to go hostless, packing in lots of music. But it was a one-time solution. 

And that ratings increase? It was probably because there were more nominees – Black PantherBohemian RhapsodyA Star is Born – that people had seen.
Still, the ratings bump was "something we paid attention to," said Charlie Collier, whose network (Fox) is airing the Emmys this year.
The main reason for going hostless, he said, is to make sure the show ends by 11 p.m., yet has time for tributes to departing series.
"This is a pretty unique year for some of America's favorite shows." 

There will be tributes to Big Bang, Veep, Game of Thrones, and more. Indeed, the list of presenters includes ten Thrones actors, all of them with nominations.
The presenter list also includes Billy Porter (a nominee from Pose), who has brightened the Tonys and Oscars with spectacular outfits. "Apparently, I've become a fashion icon," he said, "which I have tried to be all my life."
Porter – who sings and dances and livens any party – would make a fine host. So would Kimmel or Meyers or Colbert. Or Amy Poehler, who had three fun Golden Globe gigs with Tina Fey.
For now, Poehler says she's viewing the hostless show optimistically. "Think about how much fun it is when you go to a party, and you don't know who's throwing it."
Except, of course, in Agatha Christie's And Then There Were None. That time, everyone was killed.
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Larry W
Not a problem for me. No Hollywood BS on my tv.
Haven't watched live or recorded an award show for a few years.
Sep 23, 2019   |  Reply
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