Following in the footsteps of this year’s Oscars, and for only the fourth time in history, the 2019 Primetime Emmy Awards will be held without a host.
Fox Entertainment CEO Charlie Collier confirmed what Variety had reported earlier this summer, at Television Critics Association executive session today. Fox, which incidentally was last time the Emmys went without a host (2003), will be carrying the Emmys next month, September 22nd. The other previous host-less Emmy broadcasts were in 1998 (NBC) and 1975 (CBS).
The main reason listed for the decision was that so many high-profile shows ended their series runs this season including The Big Bang Theory, Veep and Game of Thrones – which ends its run with a new Emmy nomination total for a Drama Series with 32.
“Our job is to assess as to how to elevate the program in the year that we have it,” Collier said of the Primetime Emmys, which rotate annually among the Big 4 networks. “If you have a host and an opening, that’s 15 or 20 minutes you can‘t have to salute the shows.”
“We will go host-less to have more time to honor those shows,” Collier said at the TCA meeting. “This is a pretty unique year for some of America’s favorite shows going away.
When asked if the Oscars decision to go host-free (after a controversy with Kevin Hart), Collier responded, “I think that certainly it was something that we paid attention to,” following up with that ““there were host names on the board, but a conclusion was reached that this year, when you are highlighting so many shows that are going away, time is better spent on them.” This year’s hostless Oscars saw a rating bump and a shorter ceremony.
“There will be entertainment, there will be an opening number, there will be surprises,” Collier also said.
One of the differences between Fox and its network peers like NBC, CBS and ABC is that the go-to choice of a late night host just isn’t there. Jimmy Kimmel, Stephen Colbert, Jimmy Fallon, Seth Meyers and, most recently, SNL’s Michael Che and Colin Jost last year have established that late night hosts are the easiest choices to host the Emmys, and those choices are tied to network and brand integrity. That said, the 2018 Emmy Awards on NBC averaged a 2.4 rating among adults 18-49 and 10.2 million viewers, making it the least-watched Emmys on record.
The 71st Primetime Emmy Awards will be held on September 22nd and air live on FOX at 8pm EST / 5pm PST.