The new shuffle comes after MTV informed CBS, which will broadcast the Primetime Emmys this year, that it’s airing the Video Music Awards on Sept. 13. The two networks decided that competition wouldn’t serve either one well, and since MTV was “locked in” to the Sept. 13 date, CBS decided to send the Emmys back to Sept. 20.
“We had the flexibility to move; they didn’t,” says Jack Sussman, who oversees specials and live events for CBS. “It’s best for the industry and the audience that these events not compete against each other. Huge thanks to the Television Academy and [executive producer] Don Mischer for quickly moving mountains to make this happen. If the Emmy broadcast has as much excitement as the scheduling of the date, viewers are in for an unforgettable event.”
CBS and the Television Academy initially set the 61st annual awards for Sept. 20, the day before the start of the 2009-10 TV season. CBS then moved the show up a week to avoid a possible late start after an NFL doubleheader — which tends to bleed into primetime — on the 20th.
Starting a little late, though, is preferable to airing directly opposite the VMAs, which would steal a sizable portion of the young-adult audience from the Emmys. To ensure that the Emmys start as close to 8 p.m. ET as possible, CBS says “60 Minutes” will plan a “flexible” edition following the late-afternoon NFL game.