Ryan Seacrest, Heidi Klum, Tom Bergeron, Jeff Probst, Howie Mandel by Bob D'Amico/ABC
Ken Ehrlich, who has exec-produced the last four Emmy Awards ceremonies, gave TVGuide.com a peek behind the curtain at what's in store for this year's telecast (Sunday, Sept. 21, 8 pm/ET, ABC). Taking a page from TV Land perhaps, the 60th anniversary of the awards will capitalize on nostalgia for the ol' boob tube, but filtered through the eyes of today's television stars, including a slew of newly minted reality-TV personalities. -
To commemorate the first presentation of the best reality TV host award, Ehrlich tapped the category's nominees - Jeff Probst of CBS'
, Howie Mandel of NBC's
Deal or No Deal
, Tom Bergeron of ABC's
Dancing with the Stars
, Heidi Klum of Bravo's
and last year's Emmy host, Ryan Seacrest of Fox's
- to collectively host the telecast. It's a bold, though perhaps appropriate experiment for a year in which unscripted TV took over when writers went on strike. Judging from
Jimmy Kimmel Live
, it looks like the talented quintet will have some fun with the gig. I'm totally crossing my fingers for a Probst-Seacrest steel-cage match.
FAVORITE TV QUOTES!
Who knew that goody-two-shoes John Boy Walton inspired
's agent/animal Ari? Jeremy Piven will name-check the noblest Walton in a segment in which actors recall their favorite lines from classic TV. (For the record, mine is "My cat's breath smells like cat food" from
.) Also sharing some quotable quotes will be
's John Krasinski,
' Kristin Chenoweth and - oh my! - wait until you hear what Helen Mirren has to say on the subject. That's what she said
Instead of the usual Ancient Grecian/UFO fantasy, this year's Emmys stage will incorporate re-creations of famous TV-show sets, including the diner from
' Wisteria Lane,
The West Wing
's Oval Office and the hospital from
. No mere window dressing, Ehrlich says the practical sets will play a big role in the presentation of the awards. He'll use video clips to place the sets in their proper context.
"Does it get more interesting than Don Rickles and Kathy Griffin [presenting an award] together?" Ehrlich asks. The pair of caustic comedians are also both already Emmy winners - Griffin for her Bravo reality show and Rickles for an HBO comedy special. Jon Stewart and Stephen Colbert will again co-present - although not in a category for which Steve Carell is in the running this time. Ricky Gervais, who actually won the award that Stewart and Colbert "stole" for Carell last year, will hand out an award, as will all five leading ladies from
The dreamy crooner with the big, booming voice is generally known for singing songs about angels and snow or something... in Latin. But Ehrlich wants America to see that Groban - who memorably appeared in Jimmy Kimmel's Ben Affleck video recently - has a great sense of humor as well. He'll perform a four-minute medley of 25 TV theme songs, including the catchy ditties from
The Golden Girls
. Ehrlich teases that the segment "will not be what you expect."
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