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Apr 14,2009
Lynda Hirsch on Soaps: Q&A
by Lynda Hirsch

Q: What is the latest on the Daytime Emmy Awards? — Rusty, Baltimore

A: Jim Romanovich, the president of ATI Worldwide Media Entertainment, which will be producing the event, offers several insights to the show, which will air on the CW on Aug. 30. At a recent press conference, he said: "June was too soon and it's a month I never understood for doing a show of this magnitude. The season is over and people are in summer mode — meaning vacation! We want to do something very special with this event and we need time to do it. I chose Aug. 30 because it was the Sunday to kick everything off on the CW; stars will be back from vacation; viewers will be excited about new TV events as summer winds down; and contrary to what was stated elsewhere, this is not Labor Day weekend. It's a really good time to do this."

Romanovich promises a different look: "A sense of fun and celebration. First and foremost, this is a television event and we need to entertain the audience if we want them to watch. We're not re-inventing the wheel. But how about a new wheel? Our plan is more interaction and humor — but not the dreaded banter between two presenters. I am planning a tribute to 'Guiding Light.' which will hopefully have a major star formerly of the soap along with classic clips and, if possible, as many living stars as possible on stage. That might be more difficult to achieve than I envision, but you know how we're thinking. Also, expect a memoriam to Phil Carey and Clint Ritchie from 'One Life to Live.' With the soap categories, think tribute rather than just "the nominees are ..." As we get closer, changes may be made for various reasons. But whatever changes we make, it will be for the good of the show. I can tell you we plan to make this move swiftly, but not rushed. It will be high spirited and well paced."

As for keeping the show in L.A. instead of heading back to New York as was earlier rumored: "Because that's what we at ATI wanted. We're based here. In order to do the show that we want and that's expected of us, we had to be in Los Angeles. Are we attached should there be a 2010 Daytime Emmy show? Yes, there are options. Would we do it in New York next year? I would love to."

Q: How much is each actor paid to appear at the Daytime Emmys? — Howard, Mansfield, Ohio

A: As with all award shows, the participants are paid scale. This way, actors cannot demand a large fee to attend the event. However, there are a few perks. There is the ever-present swag bag — the bags filled with expensive goodies from jewelry to spa certificates. Each show will pay for their nominees' plane tickets and hotel rooms. One of the best "spoiled brat" incidents happened at the Emmys a few years back. One of the nominees balked when he learned he was going to have to fly from L.A. to New York coach class. The actor refused to get on the plane. He claimed he had missed the plane. To add insult to no-show incident, the actor lost to a fellow cast mate whom he loathes. Since then, this actor has done lots of good work, but has not received another nomination.

Copyright 2009 Creators Syndicate Inc.

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