The 72nd Emmy Awards are officially set for Sept. 20, ABC announced on Wednesday.
But while the date is set, the network still hasn’t yet tipped its hand on whether there will be a host for the starry soirée.
The live event will be held at the Microsoft Theater in LA again, according to The Hollywood Reporter, which notes that the Creative Arts ceremonies will then take place a weekend before, on Sept. 12 and 13.
The show went hostless on Fox in 2019 — seemingly taking a page from the Oscars, which saw a 12% increase in viewers by going host-free — but went on to suffer record-low ratings of 6.9 million viewers.
The format lacked charm and continuity and marked a 32% drop from the previous year on NBC with hosts Colin Jost and Michael Che of “Saturday Night Live.” (The Academy Awards announced Wednesday that they will stick with their apparently successful hostless approach when they air Feb. 9 from LA’s Dolby Theatre.)
So what hosting options does the network have? ABC could go emcee-free and simply tap into the network’s talent pool, sprinkling a variety of sitcom presenters throughout to help keep things rolling.
Keeping things in-house, here a few other options that ABC could consider for steering the show in the right direction.
The obvious move would be for ABC to bring back the late-night talker, who last ran the festivities for the network in 2016 and landed 11.3 million viewers; he previously hosted in 2012 and drew an audience of nearly 13.3 million. On his last go-around, Kimmel, 52, took jabs at timely topics, like rampant nudity on HBO hit “Game of Thrones,” saying, “Television has the ability to make us laugh and cry — and, during certain key parts of ‘Game of Thrones,’ masturbate.” He also got topical and addressed racial issues in Hollywood. “The only thing we value more than diversity is congratulating ourselves on how much we value diversity,” he said. “If you are a person of color in our audience right now, find a white person and take a moment to reach out and say, ‘Thanks for your bravery.’” He’s no Ricky Gervais, whose “I don’t care” attitude during the Golden Globes was a refreshing break from Hollywood fawning, but he’d get the job done.
The 55-year-old “Black-ish” star’s “What the hell?” approach to comedy is perfect for a politically polarized world, not to mention a scandal-plagued Hollywood. Her fourth and most recent standup special, last year’s “Not Normal” on Netflix, skewered relatable topics like politics, racism and family life with attitude, f-bombs and plenty of laugh-out-loud moments. Sure, she’d have to tone things down — pretty substantially, at that. But if the Emmy-winner can rein it in enough for appearances on Ellen Degeneres’ gentle daytime talk show, she could certainly find a middle ground between family-friendly and ferocious.
The “Kids Say the Darndest Things” host, 40, has an in-your-face and “Yeah, I said it” attitude that could seriously shake things up. Probably too much for the Television Academy — not to mention a substantial segment of the clutch-their-pearls audience — but in a post-Gervais world, the last thing the show needs is to keep things safe. She would at least keep the union censors employed for a few hours. Just don’t let her bar-hop the night before.
Lake Bell and Dax Shepard
The “Bless This Mess” stars — she a 40-year-old indie film darling, he a 45-year-old goofball married to Kristen Bell — convincingly play city folk who relocate to small-town Nebraska, only to find themselves befuddled by farm life but befriended by the offbeat locals. The actors’ easy chemistry and the way they handle their scripted retorts make them worth a shot. How bad could they be? Certainly no worse than fawning, flat and unfunny 2019 Golden Globes hosts Andy Samberg and Sandra Oh.
“The Bachelor” star Peter Weber and his ex, Hannah Brown
Oh, please. Of course, it would be a cynical dose of synergy — but at least people would tune in.
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