On the Sunday June 22; the first time in its history, the 41st Annual Daytime Emmy Awards were exclusively streamed online. The chaos and awkwardness that ensued during the red carpet interviews was just the prelude of what was to come. The webcast may well be the least watched yet the most memorable of them all. The Daytime Emmys are supposed to celebrate the achievements of daytime television professionals, so it was quite unfortunate that the show wasn't as polished as previous broadcasts; in fact it’s really difficult to call it a professional production at all. Grade school plays and presentations have been produced better than the ceremony NATAS or The National Academy of Television Arts and Sciences put on at the Beverly Hilton Hotel. The only good thing about the event was host Kathy Griffin.
Earlier this year word got out that Atlanta based HLN declined to pick up the awards show despite it being the most watched non-news program in the cable network’s history. NATAS began the daunting task of searching for a network to carry the show. After the Academy lost its race against time to find a network willing to broadcast it, the alternative was to webcast the event. Previous Daytime Emmy ceremonies were produced and scripted just like the countless other award shows broadcast on TV. My personal favorites were the 37th and 38th Daytime Emmys that were held in Las Vegas and broadcast on CBS. This year’s webcast was an absolute train wreck. There were two major forces at work, the human fails; I’m referring to the four red carpet hosts and the technical fails that plagued the webcast.
There is definitely no chance that 2014 Daytime Emmys webcast will be nominated for an Emmy. The webcast wasn't exactly an Emmy worthy production with all of the equipment failures, i.e. teleprompter malfunctions, microphones on when they should be off and let’s not forget the opening of the ceremony. Viewers watching the webcast didn't see the opening of the ceremony that people attending event saw, instead internet viewers were treated to a view from the back of the auditorium where background voices could be heard repeating one of the red carpet hosts warning of her nipple possibly falling out. Then to a black screen where host Kathy Griffin is faintly heard in the background saying to the audience;
Welcome everyone, welcome to the *bleep* show
After a minute or two of the black screen, the video was finally switched to the stage where Griffin was well into her monologue. In my opinion; it turned out to be the only bright spot of the ceremony.
I can only guess that the producers hired so-called social media mavericks Lauren Elizabeth, Brittany Furlan, Jessica Harlow and Meghan Rosette; in the hope of tapping into the younger audience which follows them online. What they actually got were interviews that were sometimes awkward, inappropriate and downright creepy. First off, the red carpet arrivals were a cringe worthy sight that even Joan Rivers would balk at. The four social media vloggers NATAS hired had no clue who most of the stars of Daytime were. They were oblivious to when they were on-camera live. The hosts also made some outrageous statements that included calling “Bold and the Beautiful” star Lawrence Saint-Victor a “Beautiful chocolate man,” and joking with “General Hospital” star Ryan Peavey that they wanted to rape him. Even though I my have rolled my eyes at the conduct and most of the questions they asked; the ladies seemed like they were having a good time. I doubt that anyone will forget them; and the internet will definitely ensure that.
Throughout the entire webcast the only graphics appearing onscreen were the pre-produced introductions of the nominees. Not one graphic identified winners taking the stage. During the show, one unnamed man took the stage accepting the Outstanding Morning Show Emmy for “Good Morning America;” not only dissed the “Today Show” in his speech but managed to chide former anchors Sam Champion (Weather Channel) and Josh Elliott (NBC Sports) for jumping ship.
Kathy Griffin didn't hold back either… as if she would've had it aired on actual TV network. Expletives were uttered left and right and not just by Griffin. “The Talk” co-host Sharon Osbourne shocked co-presenter Sheryl Underwood by dropping a few choice colorful metaphors. If anything, the actual ceremony was far from dull, despite production mishaps.
With this year’s awards show downgraded to a webcast, a lot of big name daytime personalities were no-shows to the event. This missing stars include Ellen DeGeneres, Dr. Phil, Steve Harvey, Bobby Flay, Rachel Ray, Katie Couric and Dr. Oz. Both DeGeneres and Harvey received multiple awards. It was mentioned that Harvey was stuck in Chicago; one of his producers stepped up to accept his award. In the speech it was mentioned that Harvey was vacationing in Bali. Steve Harvey won two Emmy Awards; Outstanding Game Host for Atlanta based “Family Feud” and Outstanding Talk Show Informative for Chicago based “Steve Harvey Show”.
Perhaps the Emmy’s webcast proved the point NATAS was likely trying to convey all along. Although this year’s Daytime Emmys weren't quite ready for primetime; if Griffin had a network quality production supporting her behind the scenes, it could be entertaining and worth watching; if only to see what will happen.