Hudlin Entertainment

The Emmys Are Better Than the Oscars, But Here’s How to Bring Back the Fans: Tap Into ‘Law & Order’ and Comic-Con

By Michael Schneider | Variety
Eric Liebowitz/NBC

One of the biggest head-scratchers about the Will Smith Oscar-night slap fiasco is why the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences’ powers that be keep hiring new executive producers for the telecast every year. In a misguided hope that they’ll stumble across someone who will actually hit ratings gold, they repeatedly tap big-name movie producers. And the show winds up with producers not skilled in the art of live TV.

I can almost guarantee that the Oscars would have handled the Slap better had a seasoned TV awards show producer been in charge. (Thank goodness for veteran director Glenn Weiss, but he didn’t call the final shots.) And while AMPAS tears up its Oscars playbook every year, ABC has limited say in bringing on an experienced producer who could at least steady the ship.

The Emmys telecast airs on a different network every year in a four-network wheel, but there has been far more stability in its show producers lately. For the past four years, Done + Dusted has had the honors, with Reginald Hudlin also on board for the most recent two. There’s no guarantee D+D or Hudlin will return this year (no decision has been made as of press time), but at least the Television Academy has allowed the same Emmys producers to find their groove for several years. It takes time to figure out the rhythm of producing an awards show, and the Emmys found it.