On Wednesday, Fox Entertainment CEO Charlie Collier made a surprising announcement regarding the upcoming 71st Primetime Emmy Awards. Despite the long-upheld tradition, the 2019 broadcast will not have a host. According to the New York Post, Fox Entertainment is planning on doing away with the custom in favor of overhauling the ceremony altogether. It has been over a decade since the award show aired sans host, the last time being in 2003 according to CNN.
Straightaway media outlets drew connections between this decision and the 2019 broadcast of the Oscar Awards, which decided to go without a host for the first time in 30 years. This decision followed an outcry over the Academy’s move to hire Kevin Hart for the prestigious hosting role despite a past of homophobic comedy.
Fox Entertainment explained that Emmy producers hope that this decision will allow them to incorporate new elements into the Emmy Awards ceremony. They also hope that this move will allot more space to honor acclaimed shows that ended in 2019 like The Big Bang Theory and Game of Thrones. According to the New York Post, the Television Academy may also decide to honor milestones of older yet equally iconic television series. 2019 marks the 30th anniversary of Beverly Hills, 90201, and Seinfeld as well as the 25th anniversary of Friends and ER.
At the Television Critics Association press tour, Collier elaborated on why they decided to move forward without a host. “Our job is to assess how to elevate the program in the year we’re lucky enough to broadcast it. What’s interesting to me this year is how many shows we’re saying goodbye to. You have to look at the trade-off. If you have a host and an opening number, that’s 15-20 minutes that you don’t have to salute the shows,” he said.
Collier continued by explaining how they had taken time to consider a number of big Hollywood contenders for the role. Ultimately though, Fox Entertainment made the decision they felt was best for the program. “Spending more time on those shows and giving them a way to be elevated was the right thing to do,” he said.