Emmy Awards Prepare for Somber Show

Red-carpet arrivals will be scaled back and stars will trade tuxedoes for business suits in a muted Emmy Awards intended to reflect the nation's somber mood, organizers said Tuesday.

"It will be very different from what we had planned and what we've seen before," said Don Mischer, the ceremony's executive producer.

Walter Cronkite, not host Ellen DeGeneres, will make the opening remarks at the Oct. 7 ceremony, delayed three weeks because of the Sept. 11 terrorist hijackings and attacks on New York's World Trade Center and the Pentagon.

Although the arrivals of the celebrities won't be broadcast, Jennifer Price, a spokeswoman for the Academy of Television Arts & Sciences, said Tuesday night there will be a "modified arrival area with a red carpet," where media will be allowed to gather.

Stars are being advised to dress down.

"It's difficult for the women because they've been planning their gowns for a long time," Mischer acknowledged.

The plans are reminiscent of the carefully understated Academy Awards ceremonies held during World War II. Mischer has been consulting with the Academy of Television Arts & Sciences and host network CBS.

"There's a lot of passionate opinion out there" over how or even whether to proceed with the ceremony, Mischer said. "This has really been difficult."

The goal is to make the stars and industry members in attendance at the Shrine Auditorium and the TV audience feel comfortable with the ceremony, the first Hollywood awards show since the attacks.

The order of the awards presentation will be changed. Honors for best supporting comedy actors traditionally start the show; this year, drama honors will be handed out first.

Humor will be used but "carefully considered" and there will be no scripted political jokes by host DeGeneres, Mischer said. He said he hopes winners and presenters are equally respectful on stage.

"We can talk about it, send letters to nominees. But in the end it's live and it's an open microphone. ... We have absolutely no control over it," he said. "It can make or break the evening."

The vast majority of presenters remain committed to the ceremony, although there is a question of whether those who live in New York will want to travel to Los Angeles, Mischer said.

Included in the evening will be filmed acknowledgments of the tragedy that struck America, including a piece with Dennis Franz, star of NYPD Blue, paying tribute to New York police officers.

``There are people we need to be honoring more than people who win Emmy awards,'' Mischer said. The awards show, seen in 95 countries, will thank people worldwide for their support of America.