Organizers: Emmy Awards will go on

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The tale of the 53rd Annual Primetime Emmy
Awards continues to add chapter, after chapter.

As of late Friday, executives at CBS and the Academy of Television Arts &
Sciences were vowing that the twice-delayed Emmys will go on, but no date or
location for the ceremony had been set.

Everything
from an Air Force base in suburban Riverside, Calif., to the Beverly Hilton
Hotel has been thrown out as a possible new Emmy site, and it seems almost a
sure thing that the ceremony will take place during the upcoming November sweep.

Money seems to be playing a big part in the decision-making process, as the
ATAS is due $3 million from CBS and the network could lose out on more than $20
million in ad revenue if the show is canceled.

'You've got a weird situation because you've got [CBS President Les]
Moonves
smelling a rating in sweeps, you've got the Academy in the awkward position of
not being able to wave the white flag because if they say it doesn't make any
sense, then CBS doesn't have to pay them, and right now it appears that it will happen
in November and on a military base, which I'm sure is pretty convenient for most
people,' one top network executive said.

It's been
a long couple of months for both CBS and ATAS executives, who have had
to postpone the show twice, the latest coming Oct. 7, just hours
before the show was about to begin.

As host Ellen DeGeneres was going through final preparations at Los Angeles'
Shrine Auditorium, the ceremony was called off as U.S. and British forces began
bombing Afghanistan.

'Both the Academy and CBS would like to find a way to make this telecast
happen,' CBS spokesman Chris Ender said. 'I think everybody recognizes that a
big, live-audience event at the Shrine is probably not realistic.'

ATAS and CBS executives spent much of this
past week going over different scenarios for a possible third attempt, getting
opinions and advice from top Hollywood studios and producers on what would be appropriate.

To add insult to injury, the show's original executive producer, Don Mischer,
told organizers he cannot continue with the show because he has to get ready for
the coming Salt Lake City Winter Olympic Games.

Mischer, who is producing the opening and vlosing ceremonies in Salt Lake
City, hurriedly put together a scaled-down version of the Emmys for Oct. 7 in
the wake of the terrorist attacks.

'I think just sending the Emmys in a box or an envelope
is inappropriate,' ATAS president Jim Chabin said. 'We need a ritual or a
ceremony of some sort to congratulate these people, to present their awards by
their peers with their peers. Whether that's a dinner that's televised or not
televised is really unimportant to us. But I would say that one way or another,
we need to give these awards out, and we will do that at the right time, sooner,
rather than later.'

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