Emmys 2011: Get ready for the onslaught of 'presenter news'
Over the next two months, stories that tear each major category apart will appear in this space and many others, analyzing things every which way, including sideways.
But there will also be another kind of news item that will proliferate during the next couple of months, almost right up until the start of the Emmycast on Sept. 18: the "breaking news" on who will presenting the Emmys themselves.
During a time of the year that's pretty light on TV news, stories about Emmy presenters take up a lot of of the news hole that would otherwise be used to describe the latest exploits of the Kardashians or Charlie Sheen. At the time it's published, the news feels important -- as important as any kind of entertainment news can feel in a world where we're fighting three wars and hitting our debt ceiling, that is.
Mostly, though, presenter news gives fans something to anticipate as the Emmycast gets closer: what will their favorite starlet wear; will a pairing be funny or just fun to watch; does Betty White get a chance to say something naughty? That kind of speculation is enough to take most people through the dog days of August.
But before we get inundated with presenter news, let's put it in its proper perspective: The day after the Emmycast, the only thing that's more quickly forgotten than who actually won is who gave those winners their statuettes.
Sure, at least once per broadcast, an Emmy presenter -- usually among a group that consists of Tina Fey, Steve Carell, Tom Hanks, Jon Stewart, Stephen Colbert, Jon Hamm, Neil Patrick Harris and a few select others -- will break through with something that's funny enough to make the highlight packages of the morning news shows. But, for the most part, those pairs of presenters that got so much publicity in July and August will do something like the following:
Male presenter [squinting at a teleprompter, speaking in monotone]: The sound editor is as crucial to the process of creating television magic as the writer, director, or even the actor.
Female presenter [squinting at teleprompter while pretending to flirt with male presenter in a monotone]: Anyone that makes you sound good deserves an award.
Male presenter [responding in mock protest monotone while squinting at teleprompter]: Ha ha. If it weren't for the sound editors, we'd all sound like we're acting in a toilet.
Female presenter [squinting, flirting and monotoning]: I'd like to think I'd sound like I was acting in a fishbowl instead of a toilet.
Male presenter [squinting, moving on without a segue]: Here are the nominees for outstanding sound editing in a drama series...
And, with that stiff exchange, their part in the Emmycast will be over. So, as the news of who's presenting at the Emmys starts to pour in, keep the above exchange in mind as you consume it. It's fun to think about and discuss, but even in the fluffy world of entertainment, this kind of news is about as hefty as dryer lint. Heck, considering what some people have made out of lint, Emmy presenter news may even be lighter than that.
The Emmy nominations will be announced on Thursday, July 14.