Television’s biggest night, also known as the 71st annual Emmy Awards, is upon us, and all of your favourite stars from screen and, uh, screen, will be there to see if the Hot Priest from Fleabag makes it across the pond. Oh, and to get hopefully win their own awards.
But there’s one notable difference from this year’s Emmy Awards than in years prior — the 2019 Emmys will not have a host at the helm of the show. No one to monologue, no one to tell “shmeh” jokes, no one to keep the whole thing moving. And you can probably blame the Oscars for that.
When Kevin Hart was tapped as host for the 2019 Oscars, everything was fine… until a rash of reportedly homophobic and offensive tweets he had sent a decade prior came back into the public forum. Per Deadline, the Academy wanted Hart to apologize, and he balked, because he said he had already apologized for his past words, and then he pulled out of hosting all together, saying that he would be a distraction to the show in general if he remained on stage. Ellen DeGeneres came to bat for him, and still, Hart thought it best to bow out. Then… the Oscars just didn’t replace Hart as host, and the presenters for the Oscars kept it all moving, and it worked out just fine. And now, the 2019 Emmys are following suit and just skipping the host thing altogether.
Last year, Saturday Night Live's twosome Michael Che and Colin Jost hosted the Emmys, and it was, according to most critics and viewers, a really lackluster moment. Per The Atlantic, “Jost and Che stood in front of the audience listlessly, holding their hands before them like guilty schoolchildren.” That’s not exactly a glowing review. It was also, according to Variety, a new Emmys viewership low for the ceremony, so it feels like it's really time to shake things up and make people want to pay attention to the Emmys again.
The official word as to why the Emmys lack a host is because they want to be able to pay homage to all the important television programs that are heading off the air this year. "What's interesting about this year to me is how many amazing shows we're saying goodbye to,” Charlie Collier, CEO of Fox Entertainment, told reporters at the Television Critics Association summer press tour, per Entertainment Tonight. “You've got Game of Thrones, our own Empire, Veep and Big Bang Theory... We will go hostless this year, and I think it will give us more time to honor those shows."
Producer Guy Carrington told Variety the plan was to get right to it. “We had a discussion very early about getting into the awards as quickly as possible. You have a host, and it can be a bit hit or miss,” he said. “It’s a lot of time before you give out the first award, and the awards are what we’re there for. We’re there to celebrate the content and the people who make it. We made a conscious effort to focus on that.”
Will it make the ceremony shorter? Will it actually lead to an increase in ratings and viewership? That’s yet to be seen, but the Emmys are giving it a go anyway. Tune in on September 22 on FOX to see how it all pans out.