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July 20, 2010

Conan shafted from Emmy telecast? Not exactly ...

101547434 Sixteen hours ago, one of Conan O'Brien's writers Tweeted that they received a dispatch saying their Emmy category would not be shown during NBC's primetime telecast.

"NOT 'NBC' but someone with power has kicked us in the nuts again! ... wow, unbelievable! but the powers that be has sent us an email saying that the category we are nominated for will not be televised this year! really?" wrote Deon Cole. 

The Tweet set off a couple outraged blog posts, with surely more to come, about how O'Brien is getting shafted from the Emmys, along with some darkly conspiratorial speculation.

"How is this NOT something [Jay Leno is] orchestrating?" wrote one. 

Here's the deal. Cole's Tweet is perfectly accurate ... yet there's some key context missing.

According to a TV Academy spokesperson, before last year's Emmys, the Academy and the guilds agreed that the writing and directing categories for  outstanding variety, musical or comedy (or "VCM") series would alternate each year from the primetime telecast to cut down on the show's length. Last year, the VCM writing/directing series slots were in the CBS telecast; this year they will move to the Creative Arts Awards, which will also be televised, on Saturday, Aug. 21.

So, yes, the winner for outstanding VCM writing will not be presented live in primetime Emmys, a category for which O'Brien's "Tonight Show" is nominated.


The overall outstanding VCM series category (the big one, in other words) for which O'Brien is nominated, the one that drew all the headlines when the Emmy nominations were announced ... that is IN the Emmy telecast.

So, really, no conspiracy. (And, frankly, no real story, either, but needed to kill time before ratings came out anyway).


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