Younger viewers were in mind when Cory Monteith was included among the five people getting separate in memoriam Emmy segments, Emmys executive producer Ken Ehrlich said Wednesday, defending the choice of the “Glee” star who died this summer at age 31 following struggles with drug addiction.
“Cory’s appeal was to a little different generation than the others who we’re honoring,” Ehrlich said. “It was important to again be responsive to younger viewers to whom Cory Monteith meant as much as perhaps these other four individuals meant to other generations.”
Ehrlich and CBS executive Jack Sussman spoke about this year’s in memoriam segments — five in all, for Monteith, Jonathan Winters, “Sopranos” star James Gandolfini, “All in the Family” star Jean Stapleton and “Family Ties” creator Gary David Goldberg — during a conference call with reporters Wednesday, addressing concerns that the new approach will leave out other TV personalities who’ve died in the past year, such as Jack Klugman.
During the in memoriam segments, the decedents will be honored by those who knew them well. Monteith will be remembered by his “Glee” co-star Jane Lynch.
As for the concerns that the approach will leave out other worthy potential honorees, Ehrlich admitted that complaints about omissions are inevitable.
“No matter what we do, I think there will be people who feel that we could have done other options,” Ehrlich said.
During the conference call, the issue of the length of the ceremony was broached. Asked if the Emmys might benefit if there were fewer awards and more performances — a la the Grammys — Sussman was blunt.
“I think the answer to that is probably yes,” Sussman said, adding that they are obligated to hand out a certain amount of awards. “I think viewers want to be entertained and they want to see artists and awards that they’re interested in … ultimately if you could put more entertainment it would probably be a better show.”