Emmy Awards Show Could See Changes

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The changes at this year's Academy Awards (search) ceremony may be followed by a substantial revamping of the Emmy Awards (search).

The Academy of Television Arts & Sciences is considering restoring an award for best new television program, a source close to the academy said Tuesday.

"All in the Family" (search) and "Room 222" (search) were among winners in the category, last included in the 1973 ceremony when journalist Alistair Cooke's "America" documentary series was honored.

Moving some awards to the creative arts Emmy ceremony to shorten the main show also has been raised as a possibility, said the source, who spoke on condition of anonymity.

It would involve shifting the writing, directing and supporting actor and actress for movies and miniseries to the lower-profile ceremony that doesn't get a network airing.

Tom O'Neil, author of "The Emmys," doesn't buy that the intent is to cut the show's running time, usually about three hours.

"What's behind this is the resentment of broadcast networks losing the movie categories to cable," O'Neil said. "This is an awards show paid for by the broadcast networks, which lose the majority of movie categories to HBO."

"This is their revenge," said O'Neil, host of the awards handicapping Web site www.goldderby.com.

Two committees were formed to review the proposals before they are considered by the academy's board of governors at its March 16 meeting.

"We are very early in the process and any changes at this point are highly speculative," the academy said in a statement. There was no comment on any specific proposals, a spokeswoman said Tuesday.

Any changes would have to be accepted by industry guilds and by the four major networks that air the ceremony on a rotating basis. The 57th Emmy Awards is set for Sept. 18 on CBS, with the creative arts to be held Sept. 11.

The Emmys last year sank to their second-lowest ratings ever.