The television awards show hopes that deploying Neil Patrick Harris as host and mixing up its usual format will grab viewers from 'Sunday Night Football.'
What's an awards show, like the Emmys, to do?
With just 9.3 million households tuning in last year – the lowest in the show's 60-year history – someone had to do something to try to goose interest in the Primetime Emmy Awards, the television industry's annual prize fest.
Enter Don Mischer, executive producer.
Even when they're not up against the New York Giants and Dallas Cowboys, awards shows today are a tricky business, he said by phone, speaking from the Nokia Theater here late in the week during an Emmy show rehearsal. "All awards shows have been sliding in the ratings," he says. "A good awards show," he adds, "has to not only do justice to the artists it honors, but it must be good entertainment."
He comes to the task this year armed with recent research about why the show was bombing with audiences.