Last year, the NFL was forced to change its plans due to a major television event. This year, the roles have reversed and a major television event is moving because of football.
According to The Hollywood Reporter, the 61st Primetime Emmy awards will be moved from its originally scheduled date of Sept. 20 due to CBS's worry about its NFL doubleheader that day running over its allotted time. At least that's the excuse the network made in its announcement today:
"This is better for the live event, the broadcast and our audience at home," said Jack Sussman, CBS' executive vp specials, music and live events.
The only thing is, the new date for the Emmys is Sept. 13, which happens to be the same day as the men's final of the U.S. Open (also televised by CBS). That is scheduled to start at 4:30 p.m. ET, which means that a five-set match would almost certainly run into an 8 p.m. start time for the Emmy Awards. The network is worried about one sporting event going long, but not another?
Maybe there's an ulterior motive for CBS's move. As Awful Announcing points out, if the ceremony was on Sept. 20, it'd be going up against a Giants-Cowboys game that marks the regular season debut of the new Cowboys Stadium. That game is almost guaranteed to be one of NBC's highest-rated of the season. By moving the Emmys to a week earlier, CBS will be facing off against a Packers-Bears game that likely won't have as much national interest.
Whatever the real reason that CBS flinched and moved a highly-rated program, there's no doubting one thing: On television, the NFL trumps all.