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Daytime Emmys Returning to CBS

After a CW detour last year, the show’s back on a big broadcast network

CBS has saved the Daytime Emmy Awards! And they’re moving to Las Vegas!*

The network today announced that it’s struck a deal with the National Academy of TV Arts and Sciences, as well as tiny little production company ATI, to bring the soap-centric Emmys back to a big broadcast network.

As predicted a few weeks ago by Broadcasting & Cable’s Paige Albiniak, this year’s event will take place at the decidedly unspectacular Las Vegas Hilton (what, Steve Wynn was asking too much for one of his hotels?) on Sunday, June 27. It will air live to the east coast from 9-11 p.m.

Last year’s show was pretty much a disaster, at least from a ratings point of view. Airing on the lil (but sexy!) CW Network, fewer than 3 million people watched, and the adults 18-49 audience didn’t even crack a 1 rating.

So why did CBS pick up the Daytime Emmys? Even though the show had been trending downward when it still aired on big broadcast nets (most recently ABC in 2008)?

Well, it didn’t help that the broadcast won’t cost the Eye a dime: There’s no license fee attached, which means ATI will find ad revenue for the show.

But maybe CBS specials guru Jack Sussman, who’s managed to increase numbers for just about every awards show the Eye has aired in the past year, also decided he needed a new challenge. Or perhaps the network thought hosting the Emmys would be a good way to pay homage to soon-to-depart soap "As the World Turns."

MoJoe would love to see CBS use the Emmys to promote the July return of reality soap "Big Brother" — maybe have some daytime actors take up residence in the "BB" house for a day, then edit the results into a running gag throughout the show.

Nominations for the 37th Daytime Emmys will be announced May 12.