All it takes is a check of social media or some follow-up conversations Monday night to know that the 75th Emmys, delayed four months due to Hollywood strikes, were worth the wait.
The critically acclaimed three-hour TV show on Fox was polished, delivered at a beautiful clip, featured talent from decades of television, and, in contrast to the monologue drama at the Golden Globes just eight days earlier, saw host Anthony Anderson has been praised for his effective and warm delivery of what is often thankless work.
“Anthony was without a doubt the host of the most,” said Alison Wallach, president of unscripted programming at Fox Entertainment. “These amazing cast and group reunions were like no other and the winners’ speeches were full of heart and humor…and on time, thanks to our watchful and hilarious Mama Doris.”
Executive producers Jesse Collins and Jenna Rosanne Clay jumped onto Zoom on Tuesday morning, after, by their estimates, maybe four hours of sleep, to reconstruct the show that almost wasn't, and to reveal the reunion stars who couldn't attend, explaining how they navigated it in a clip In Memoriam is particularly stacked – no, the cast friends He was never invited — and examine how the award show managed to end literally a second early.
How different is this show from the show you were initially putting together four months ago?
Collins This was very close to the original idea. Obviously it's changed and evolved, because we've been on hiatus for so long, but we always wanted to handle it the way we did. But at one point, we weren't even sure if this was going to happen at all. the [SAG-AFTRA] In fact, the strike ended within days of the deadline.
Was there a deadline for the show to possibly be cancelled?
Collins We had a date, and if there was still a strike after that date, there would be no show. I'm close.
These re-creations, and the casting meetings that accompanied them, solidified the night thematically and aesthetically. How did they come together?
Collins We always wanted to do reunions, but we knew we wanted to do it in a different way. We've seen the cast reunite. They came out and it was great, but we wanted to try as much as possible to do something different and bring you back into those environments.
Rosanne Clay Drew Findlay, an amazing display producer, helped bring these sets to life and make them look 3D. We have even acquired actual furniture in some cases. to MartinThat was the actual couch from the reunion. There were some real set pieces on Everyone in the family hiring. And if you were paying attention, there were Easter eggs everywhere – pictures on the shelves and walls of people who passed by.
Collins Director Alex Rudzinski also helped shape them with the way he shot them. If you look at I love Lucy Little, shoot him as they did back then. The soprano It was a single camera. American horror story He was very moody and it really happened [the camera] there. Martin And Cheers It is shot just like a traditional multi-camera. It was also about recreating the feeling.
Were there people you tried to get and they couldn't? I heard that Connie Britton was on the summons list for… American horror story a little.
Collins Connie couldn't get in because she was working somewhere the weather wouldn't allow her to. Woody Harrelson couldn't do it Cheers Because it's in a play [Ulster American in London]. So there were a few people as there were just logistical challenges. But we were lucky to get so many people who were willing to participate.
Tell me about In Memoriam. There were a lot of people to cover, and some of them—Matthew Perry, Norman Lear, Andre Braugher—were very new.
Collins There were a lot of ideas on how to combine that. Once upon a time we had Charlie [Puth] And “War and Treaty,” which dealt with the subject, we learned that this was a great rule, and then it became just a matter of recognizing 44 people. Yes, Norman Lear and Matthew Perry, you have to give them some special attention, but you don't want anyone to feel offended. Everyone's contribution has been huge, and this is their moment within this pack. So the hardest part was trying to find the balance. We've always wanted to do something everyone in the family, It ended up being the perfect setup: starting with Rob Reiner and Sally Struthers on stage and having Matthew Perry be the last picture.
Was there any applause to get friends ejaculate?
Rosanne Clay It's still very new to them.
Collins We talked about it early on – but I can imagine, on their part, that they were mourning someone who was still very close to them. I can't speak for them, but we all have to respect that they were their family. Maybe that was a little early.
In terms of bits, what went down better than expected, and was there anything that didn't go down as well as you thought it would?
Collins I think Anthony might have gotten a little intense during the second verse of “Good Times.” (He laughs.)
Rosanne Clay I'm sad he didn't dance. We were hoping to get a couple of steps somewhere in that open field.
Collins We rehearsed everything and it turned out the way we wanted it to be. Some of them were really driving the comedy – like Tracee Ellis Ross and Natasha Lyonne I love Lucy. Some were driving by saying, “We're here, in case you didn't know, and this is how cool we are.” This to me is like Gray's Anatomy And acknowledgment of his long time on television by having original members there.
Mama Doris is a national treasure, but you also don't want to play Jennifer Coolidge. What was that backstage moment like for you?
Rosanne Clay We warned everyone in advance that it was 45 seconds! (He laughs.)
Collins We just tried to do it for fun. Mama Doris was very nice about it, and Jennifer certainly played into it and finished her speech. She had to say the last part, which was really important. We certainly won't stop it from finishing. We were really trying to help him a little bit. Not only do people tend to ignore the qualifying music, I feel like it can be soothing. Instead of the music coming out of nowhere, we wanted Mama Doris to say, “Okay, honey, I thanked everyone.”
Rosanne Clay That's how mothers are. You can be strict and loving at the same time.
Collins If you noticed, she has never been to the theater. He wasn't like Sandman from Apollo. But I feel like people really thought about what they were going to say in their speeches and they were all great. I'll never know if it was because they didn't want to deal with Mama Doris. (He laughs.)
And no one really became a politician.
Collins right? Yes. Look, obviously someone would do this. We weren't political with the show. We tried to really stay in the vein of celebrating television.
Mama Doris also kept things tight. I looked at my watch and there were about 20 minutes left in the show and only three prizes left. Was there anything that had to be delayed a little longer at the end – like the chocolate conveyor belt?
Collins At one point we were under nine minutes. That was probably about halfway through, and then we just started letting things expand. By the time we arrived I love Lucy A little bit, I think we were less than a minute. We finished with 22 seconds to go in the end.
Rosanne Clay With the delay, Jesse, we stopped broadcasting at 7:59:59.
Collins truly? Those 22 seconds really bothered me, even though that's Emmitt Smith's number.
Before I let you go, I should know if you knew how many applause you were going to get… because there were a lot.
Rosanne Clay It was great though, wasn't it? To see so much support and energy from this crowd. We were pleasantly surprised. We were hoping to see the audience really support people like Christina Applegate and Carol Burnett, but you never know.
Collins Taryn Hurd, who was our producer and booked the talent, called her “Taryn Hurd.” She looked at the list and named each one of them.
Rosanne Clay Because, just to be clear, that played a role in our overestimation as well! Sure, the standing ovation caused some spread at the time, but it was worth it.
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