Emmy Awards canceled in wake of military strike in Afghanistan by U.S. and Britain

Sunday, October 7th 2001, 12:00 am
By: News On 6

LOS ANGELES (AP) _ The Emmy Awards telecast, delayed three weeks by the Sept. 11 terrorist attacks, was canceled Sunday after the United States and Britain launched a military attack in Afghanistan.

It was the first cancellation in the awards' 53-year history.

CBS spokeswoman Susan Marks made the announcement to reporters gathered outside the Shrine Auditorium. She did not elaborate on the decision, which followed a meeting between officials from the network and Academy of Television Arts & Sciences.

The ceremony had been scheduled to begin at 8 p.m. EDT.

There was no immediate statement from the television academy, which presents the awards, but a press conference was planned for later in the day.

Gary Moses, head of Emmy security, said he knew of no threats but said it was a good decision to cancel. ``I support that decision based on what's going on,'' he said.

The television industry had grappled in the weeks following the attacks with the propriety of holding a celebration such as the Emmys.

The Recording Academy canceled its 2nd Annual Latin Grammys show on Sept. 11.

Emmy organizers had sought to create a night of muted celebration, asking participants to cut back on red-carpet arrival fanfare and forgo showy gowns and tuxedoes in favor of business attire.

Veteran newsman Walter Cronkite was invited to help set a serious tone. The ceremony on CBS, with master of ceremonies Ellen DeGeneres, was to include tributes to heroes and victims of the attacks.

In deference to East Coast-based nominees, part of the presentation of 27 awards was to take place in a Manhattan studio. The bicoastal Emmy broadcast was the first in more than two decades.

HBO's mob drama ``The Sopranos'' had bids in seven categories, while NBC's White House drama ``The West Wing'' held six nominations. Both were up for best drama series honors.

``The Sopranos'' grabbed the most nominations in July, a total of 22, to 18 bids for ``The West Wing.'' But after September's creative arts ceremony, the NBC series had four Emmys in hand to one for ``The Sopranos.''

In last month's creative arts ceremony, awards were announced in categories including outstanding choreography, editing and makeup, and in the new reality series categories.

NBC and Fox received a leading 11 awards, followed by HBO with eight, ABC with seven, and CBS, PBS and UPN with three each.

``Survivor,'' the CBS program whose success helped spur the reality series craze in America, was honored as best among programs in which the show's participants competed for a prize.

``American High,'' a documentary series about high school students that was dropped by Fox and picked up by PBS, received an Emmy for best reality program that didn't involve a competition.

Four acting awards for guest roles were given out. The winners were Derek Jacobi and Jean Smart for episodes of ``Frasier,'' Michael Emerson for ``The Practice'' and Sally Field for ``ER.''

For best commercial, the award went to PBS' ``Photo Booth'' spot.