Host or no host (spoiler alert: no host), the Primetime Emmys will go on

Television names its best in the 71st ceremony

71st Primetime Emmy Awards

It’s the “in” thing to be host-less.

You’d think that’s the message that some of the entertainment world’s top award shows are sending this year. After the Oscars went without any one person steering the show last winter, following the controversy over comedian-actor Kevin Hart being named to the job (he ultimately dropped out), those behind television’s Primetime Emmy Awards decided from the outset not to have a single point person presiding.

Fox airs the 71st Emmys in their traditional slot on Sunday, Sept. 22 … the night before the new broadcast-television season officially begins. “Broadcast” must be specified, especially since cable and streaming outlets (which effectively have year-round “seasons”) factor very strongly into the Emmy contests again.

In a way, it’s convenient for the Emmys to go without a host again. When the event cycles through other networks, they already have comedic hosts they can go to: Jimmy Kimmel for ABC, Stephen Colbert and James Corden for CBS, and Jimmy Fallon, Seth Meyers and even the “Saturday Night Live” crew for NBC. Fox doesn’t have such a ready-made heir apparent; though it could go to one of its series stars such as Tim Allen, they’re so busy working on their shows at this time of year, they likely wouldn’t have the time needed to prepare for the job.

As usual, though, plenty of familiar faces still will show up at the Emmys as presenters. That makes the occasion a great way for networks to promote their shows, particularly new ones — and not only on Fox. Even if a lot of performers make it onto the stage to announce the winners, a lot don’t. And managers and agents don’t want their clients on the “don’t” list, which can make for plenty of preshow jockeying and maneuvering behind the scenes.

In any event, the show must go on … and with the field led by HBO’s “Game of Thrones” (with a record-setting 32 nominations) in drama and Amazon’s “The Marvelous Mrs. Maisel” (with 20) in comedy, the Primetime Emmys are set to honor many of TV’s best once again.

Jay Bobbin

Jay Bobbin

Jay Bobbin has decades of experience covering the television and movie businesses, winning Tribune Media Services’ Crown Jewel Award in 2008 for his performance in the company. Over those many years of interviewing and writing, he has spoken with everyone from Robert De Niro and John Travolta to Paul McCartney and Tony Bennett … from Meryl Streep and Julie Andrews to Taylor Swift and Carrie Underwood.

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