Paley Center Schedules TV Awards Show for May 2012

Organization's Emmy rival telecast set for New York City debut

The Paley Center for Media's first televised awards show, viewed as a possible Emmys competitor, will take place in May 2012 in New York, Paley Center President and CEO Pat Mitchell announced Wednesday.

The awards planning committee was formed in March of this year to create an awards concept that would "engage the public in the selection process" and "attract a broad and diverse viewing audience," a quality one could say has been lacking in Emmy Awards shows of recent years, where critical darling cable shows have tended to take home statuettes over more broadly appealing network fare.

"I think they're looking for a way to be a little more populist than we might be," said Academy of Television Arts & Sciences Chairman/ CEO John Shaffner in an interview with B&C last week. "And that would be their major distinction. I know the names that are behind it are very much engaged in populist television."

Those names would be planning committee heads Steve Mosko, president of Sony Pictures Television, Tony Vinciquerra, chairman and CEO of the Fox Networks Group, and Dick Lippin, chairman and chief executive of the Lippin Group.

"We believe the awards committee has made significant progress in identifying the ways to achieve our objectives, and we will continue to carefully refine our plans to leverage those assets as we further define the nominations process, voting, judging and award categories in the months ahead," Mitchell said in a statement.

The May date will coincide with the upfront presentations in New York, chosen with the hope that it would make it easier for industry leaders and talent to attend. The Paley Center will also merge its annual New York fundraising gala with the 2012 show.