Podcast: Conan on ABC — "Screw 'Grey's Anatomy'?"
"I'm just curious — what about the people at 'Grey's Anatomy'? " inquires Conan O'Brien in our podcast chat. "That's a huge show for ABC. How do they feel about this? Like 'Thanks a lot!'"
Emmycast host takes a stab at the alphabet network for trying to make the Emmycast walk the plank in terms of TV ratings by airing "Pirates of the Caribbean" during the Aug. 27 ceremony. Traditionally, TV networks don't counter-program on the night of TV's Oscars. "It just isn't done!" Conan adds. "ABC is pretty much saying, 'No one watch the Emmys! Screw you, "Grey's Anatomy"'! "
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But ABC entertainment president Stephen McPherson wants to hurt the Emmy broadcast because "Lost" and "Desperate Housewives" didn't reap top nominations. He blames the new voting process, even though some Emmy experts like myself believe the fault is really all ABC's for submitting lousy episode samples to the judging panels. Meantime, it's clear that some industry sentiment is turning against McPherson's ploy.
"I think Mr. McPherson is already regretting what he's done," Conan says.
Nonetheless, the swashbuckling comedian admits that "Pirates" is one of his favorite films and — shhhhhh! — he even plans to watch it, too.
"Traditionally, the Emmy host huddles with his writers backstage during commercial break," he notes. "I'm going to be back there with a wide screen TV and some kettle corn watching 'Pirates of the Caribbean.' In fact, we may delay portions of the show so I won't miss my favorite parts."
Even though he admits the Emmycast will get "the lowest ratings ever" (it's being held in late August, after all), he's taking on the emcee chore because, frankly, "I got tired of running away from the Emmys when our category is announced and we lose." Despite 20 nominations, "Late Night with Conan O'Bien" has never won a single Emmy, although Conan won one personally back during his days as a writer for "Saturday Night Live."
Photo (left): "Conan O'Brien is like a slumbering giant," the Emmycast host warns ABC. "If you incur his wrath, it's not going to pretty!" Photo (right): Sandra Oh is among the top nominees for "Grey's Anatomy."(NBC)
"I like to tell my writers, 'I have an Emmy — where's yours?'" he adds. "I actually had mine attached to the top of a mining helmet and I wear it around the office. I go into the writer's room and I'll say, 'Why don't you guys put on your Emmy helmets? Oh right! You don't have Emmys!' Then I ask them, 'How's morale, by the way?' I'm going to have Susan Lucci come in and talk to them."