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Emmy-judging not a fine science, but what the heck

by Jim Longworth

Team sports are great because scoring is not subjective. A run crosses the plate or a ball goes through the hoop and the team with the bigger tally wins the prize.

Not so with the sport of Emmys.

Judges such as myself are appointed to view hours of tapes, then we are instructed to rank the top five entries in order of our personal preference.

‘ One of the categories that I judge each year is for Outstanding Drama Series, and this year we had some good choices: “Grey’s Anatomy,” “The Sopranos,” “The West Wing,” “House” and “24.”

I tried to be fair, but in this high stakes sport no runs ever cross the plate, which means there can never be a definitive winner – only a perceived one. And let’s not forget the great dramas that were left off of the nominating ballot, including my personal favorite, “Rescue Me.”

At any rate, this year, for the first time, I did not watch the Emmys on TV. That’s because my wife Pam and I attended the ceremonies in person.

It is an elegant evening with all of the trappings of Hollywood, but, unlike the nominating process, the telecast is definitely a fine science.

Anyone not in his seat 15 minutes before the start of the program is locked out.

There are designated seat fillers to occupy empty spaces left by celebrities who get up and go to the bathroom. A precise amount of time is allocated for each acceptance speech, and commercials must roll right on cue. Meanwhile, jokes and introductions are scripted on a teleprompter, leaving no remark to chance.

And next year, ironically, I will get to vote on whether the Emmy telecast itself should win an Emmy. In fact, there is a category for just about everything except Best Emmy Judge.

If that were the case, I assure you that my vote would be scientifically cast with utter objectivity.

Jim Longworth is host of “Triad Today” which can be seen Friday mornings at 6:30 a.m. on ABC 45 (cable channel 7), and Sunday nights at 10 p.m. on UPN 48 (cable channel 14).

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