The Daytime Emmys are returning to CBS for the first time since 2007. The kudos will be handed out on June 27 in a prime-time ceremony airing live from the Las Vegas Hilton. Nominations for the 37th annual edition of these TV honors will be announced May 12.
In recent years, the Daytime Emmys presentation has suffered from declining ratings as daytime audiences have dwindled. Last year, these awards suffered the ignominy of being doled out on the CW network during the doldrums of summer. The Aug. 30 airing attracted only 2.68 million viewers, about half the number who watched when the show aired on ABC in June 2008.
Throughout the 1990s and the early part of this decade, the three oldest broadcast networks rotated the awards, drawing audiences in excess of 10 million until 2003. NBC dropped out of the pool the following year when viewership dipped to 8.4 million. CBS stuck with it until the June 2007 telecast was watched by only 8.3 million people
This year, there were widespread rumors that the Daytime Emmys would either be picked up by the little-viewed Soapnet cable channel or else give up the ghost entirely. Salvation came Friday with the CBS announcement, which makes sense because the eye web wants to bolster a dying TV genre. There are only seven soaps left on TV nowadays, but CBS airs the two most watched -- "The Young & the Restless" and "The Bold and the Beautiful."
While "Y&R" has won seven best drama series Emmys over the years, it took "The Bold and the Beautiful" more than two decades until it finally prevailed last year. "B&B" had been nominated for the top Emmy three previous times, but many award gurus believed it might never win, being a half-hour program competing against one-hour rivals.
An even bigger shock at last year's Daytime Emmys was the victory by the women of "The View" for best talk-show host, a category that had never been won by a team. There's a strong bias in favor of single-host programs winning for best talk show too, but "The View" did manage to break that jinx once -- in 2003 when it tied with "The Wayne Brady Show." Last year, "The View" wasn't even nominated for best talk show, only reaping a bid in the host race, and its stars -- Joy Behar, Elisabeth Hasselbeck, Whoopi Goldberg, Sherri Shepherd and Barbara Walters -- didn't bother to travel from New York to Los Angeles for the ceremony.
Photo: Daytime Emmy Award statue. Credit: National Academy of Television Arts & Sciences