Emmys Give It Another Try

The Emmy Awards show, delayed twice by last month's terrorist attacks, have been rescheduled again in a move that could put the telecast in competition with the national pastime.

The awards ceremony is now expected to be held Nov. 4 at the Shubert Theatre, sources close to the show said Tuesday. That date also is slated for the final World Series game, if it's necessary.

An announcement about the show, including whether Ellen DeGeneres will remain as host, was set for Wednesday, said the sources, who spoke on condition of anonymity.

The Academy of Television Arts & Sciences and CBS, which would broadcast the show, declined comment Tuesday.

Originally planned for Sept. 16, the show was delayed after the terrorist attacks of Sept. 11. It was rescheduled for Oct. 7 but called off again when the United States and Britain launched a retaliatory strike against Afghanistan that day.

If the World Series goes a full seven games, it would end with a nighttime contest broadcast Nov. 4 by Fox. The Emmys traditionally air from 8-11 p.m. EST.

Despite the potential conflict, an early November broadcast would give CBS a valuable showcase for its special "sweeps" programming for the month. Sweeps periods, held several times a year, are watched closely to set local advertising rates.

The ceremony originally was to have been held at the 6,000-plus seat Shrine Auditorium near downtown. The Shubert, on the city's west side, holds only 1,800 people.

Since the first delay, the television industry has been divided over whether the awards should be re-staged or dropped altogether.

Some participants were worried about safety, although officials said no threats had been received, adding that unprecedented security measures were in place at the Shrine.

Others questioned the propriety of a Hollywood celebration in difficult times. But CBS and the academy were intent on proceeding with the 53rd annual prime-time Emmys.

"There's a lot of money at stake," CBS Television President Leslie Moonves said recently.

The network stands to lose advertising dollars and a promotional platform for its programming, while the academy depends on the $3 million-plus network license fee and ticket sales for a large portion of its annual budget.

To allay concerns, the Oct. 7 ceremony had been heavily revamped and much of the glamour stripped away. Participants were advised to choose dressy business attire over formal wear and the red-carpet arrival area was scaled back.

The celebration of TV's best was to be mixed with tributes to the heroes and victims of the terrorist attacks on New York's World Trade Center and the Pentagon in Washington.

After the second cancellation, CBS and the academy considered a number of dates and scenarios, including simply delivering the awards to the winners, holding the show on a studio lot or staging it at a military base with troops in the audience.