TV Academy Signs 8-Year Network Deal, Averts Emmys Crisis

Emmys will continue to alternate between ABC, CBS, NBC and Fox; Mark Burnett will produce 2011 show

The Television Academy has avoided a looming crisis, signing a deal with the four broadcast networks to televise the Emmy Awards for another eight years.

The Academy announced on Wednesday night that the four networks will continue to broadcast the Emmys in a "wheel rotation," with Fox carrying the show this September. ABC will carry the 2012 show, followed by CBS and NBC.

The networks will pay a license fee of at least $8.25 million for the show.

Mark BurnettThe previous deal had expired after last year's Emmy show, with signs that the broadcast networks had grown less enthusiastic about carrying a three-hour show burdened with more than two dozen categories, and one that often gave numerous awards to pay-cable networks like HBO and Showtime.

The new deal does not change the categories presented on the telecast for 2011, but calls for the Academy and each network to "give due consideration to reviewing the awards categories and the manner of presentation of the awards, taking into account the interests of various constituencies of the Academy."

The deal was negotiated by an Academy committee chaired by Kenneth Ziffren and including John Shaffner, Nancy Wiard and Alan Perris. Network negotiators were Ira Kurgan from Fox, Deborah Barak from CBS, Mark Graboff from NBC and Jana Winograde from ABC.

The Academy has also announced that "Survivor" and "Celebrity Apprentice" producer Mark Burnett (above) will serve as executive producer of the 2011 Primetime Emmy telecast, which will take place on September 18.

"As an Emmy Award winner, I know the excitement of standing on the Emmy stage before your peers and the American public to receive that statue," said Burnett in a statement released by the TV Academy. "My mission in producing this year's Emmys is to provide the absolutely most memorable television experience for the nominees, the winners and the viewing audience."

Along with his other credits, Burnett has served as executive producer on the People's Choice Awards twice and the MTV Movie Awards three times.

One thing the reality-show maven want might to keep in mind: the most widely-derided Emmy show of the past decade was the one in which a lineup of reality hosts — Jeff Probst, Tom Bergeron, Heidi Klum, Ryan Seacrest and Howie Mandel — served as emcees.

(Photo by Jamie McCarthy/Getty Images)