Emmy Awards Reschedule Ceremony One Last Time

The third time will be the charm for this year's Emmy Awards ceremony -- or the twice rescheduled show won't happen at all, producers said Tuesday.

The ceremony honoring television accomplishments was postponed from its original Sept. 16 date because of last month's terrorist attacks. Organizers scuttled it again Oct. 7 when the United States began retaliatory attacks on Afghanistan.

Organizers vowed the show now planned for Sunday would go on regardless of future developments. CBS plans to broadcast the show live at 8 p.m. PST.

"There will be no more moving of the dates," said Bryce Zabel, chairman of the Academy of Television Arts & Sciences. "If there is [world] news to be heard, we will deal with it by simply going forward."

He said the event has changed dramatically each time it has been rescheduled.

Workers have hurried to rebuild sets to fit the Shubert Theatre, which seats only 1,800 people -- compared to the 6,000-plus available at the original Shrine Auditorium venue.

Gary Smith, was brought in as executive producer to replace Don Mischer, who left to begin work on the opening and closing ceremonies at the 2002 Winter Olympics in Salt Lake City.

The dress code has shifted from black-tie to business attire, host Ellen Degeneres has rewritten or dropped countless jokes, and moments planned to honor victims, heroes and survivors of the attacks have been restructured as news develops.

A segment featuring NYPD Blue star Dennis Franz introducing clips of firefighters and police officers rescuing people on Sept. 11 was replaced because organizers felt it would be repetitive.

"It has nothing to do with anyone's feeling that it's not without merit," Smith said. "When something becomes overexposed it has less impact."

He said the show will still honor emergency workers but declined to discuss details, saying he wanted to keep it a surprise.

A new piece of the show will document Hollywood's involvement in times of war, with CNN talk-show host Larry King introducing clips of celebrities entertaining troops form World War II through the Persian Gulf conflict and today, Smith added.

Zabel predicted many Emmy winners will pay tribute to emergency workers, U.S. soldiers and American ideals.

"Nothing is a better example of freedom of speech than an open [microphone] on a live telecast," he said.