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Sunday, 4 November, 2001, 09:51 GMT
Emmys promise surprises
The Emmys
The Emmys are hoping for third time lucky
By entertainment correspondent Peter Bowes in Los Angeles

The 53rd Emmy awards ceremony will go ahead in Los Angeles on Sunday with a few surprises predicted by the show's organiser.

Last year the academy changed the rules to allow at home viewing, on video, of the nominated shows.

It's made it less of a horse race and more of a recognition of excellence

Bryce Zabel
"This has dramatically increased the number of people who actually vote," explained Bryce Zabel, chairman of the Academy of Television Arts and Sciences.

He added: "Last year, the result were more surprising than they had been in years. So look for a surprise or two."

The main race is between The Sopranos and The West Wing for the coveted best drama honour.

Scaled down

ER, Law and Order and The Practice are also in the running.

The Sopranos has 22 nominations while The West Wing has received 18 nods by the academy.

Ellen DeGeneres
Ellen DeGeneres has re-written her routine three times
The event, which was first postponed after the terrorist attacks on America and then delayed again when the air strikes began over Afghanistan, will be a scaled-down affair.

"I am relieved," said Mr Zabel

"We've all had to consider the old cliché, 'the show must go on,' and we had to ask ourselves, 'Is that really true - must the show go on?'"

A heightened security effort involves the full range of law enforcement agencies - including the FBI, the Los Angeles police department and the Federal Aviation Administration.

'Secure place'

Mr Zabel acknowledged that it had not been easy to co-ordinate the arrangements. "We've had an extremely difficult situation in that regard," he said.

Shubert Theatre
The Shubert replaces the Shrine as the venue
However he added, "We feel confident that we're providing a safe and secure place for people to attend these awards."

The awards will be held at the Shubert theatre, smaller than the original choice of the Shrine Auditorium.

At one point there were reports that a military based was being considered as the venue.

The celebratory side of the Emmys, the world's most prestigious TV honours, has been toned down to reflect the sombre mood of the US.

"It's made it less of a horse race and more of a recognition of excellence, said Mr Zabel.


Reflecting the fact that many of the award winners will be behind-the-scenes workers on TV productions, Mr Zabel said it would be unfair to deny them their moment of glory.

"A lot of these people you've never even heard of but they deserve the recognition that goes with the award and we're happy to give it out," he said.

The host of the show, Ellen DeGeneres, was said to be deeply upset, while understanding, of the last decision to cancel the show.

The actress, best known for her gay sit-com role, will open the programme with an upbeat comedy routine.

"Ellen is a consummate comedian, she's taking a look at how the country's changed since October 7th and modifying the material she'll use," said Mr Zabel.

"She deserves an Emmy herself for having to do this three times in a row."

See also:

31 Oct 01 | TV and Radio
High security for Emmys
09 Oct 01 | TV and Radio
Emmy bosses vow to honour winners
08 Oct 01 | TV and Radio
Emmy awards called off after strikes
01 Oct 01 | TV and Radio
Emmy nominees get New York option
12 Sep 01 | Music
Award shows postponed
25 Sep 01 | TV and Radio
All-star telethon raises $150m
12 Jul 01 | TV and Radio
Sopranos tops Emmy nominations
18 Oct 01 | TV and Radio
Emmys confirm new date
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