Sign The Guestbook
View The Guestbook
Archived Guestbook
Submit An Article
Staff List
Privacy Policy



From the Field
Emmys 3.0
Bryce Zabel was elected Chairman/CEO of the Academy of Television Arts and Sciences only a month before the tragic events of September 11th forced the first postponement of the Emmy awards telecast in it's fifty-three year history. Although Zabel was forced to postpone the telecast an even more unprecedented second time when the American air campaign against Afghanistan began, he was determined that the show must go on. It did, on November 4th, in a demonstration of what he called "unity in the entertainment industry and defiance against the fears of terrorism." Now, Bryce reflects on this year's history making Emmys. He calls it EMMYS 3.0. By the way, if you'd like to read Bryce's comments from EMMY night as aired on the CBS broadcast just click here

By Bryce Zabel
Chairman/CEO, Academy of Television Arts and Sciences

This year snipers watched from nearby rooftops, tuxedos were left at home, and patriotic music opened the telecast. It was different, but it finally happened. After two postponements, the 53rd Annual Emmy Awards aired on Sunday, November 4th at the Shubert Theater. History was made. Reading the excellent reviews the day after, I remembered that many of the same publications had urged us less than a month before to forget about the show altogether. The road to Emmy Sunday 2001 was not an easy one. From the horrible tragedy in September to the beginning of the air war in Afghanistan in October and finally the last game of the World Series in November, the obstacles faced this year guarantee this has been an Emmy that will live in memory

Ellen and Martin Short, as Jimmy Glick, horse around at the Primetime Emmy Awards
like no other before it.

For me, personally, it's been a journey I will never forget either. When elected to the position of chairman/CEO of the Academy of Television Arts & Sciences in August, it seemed clear that the telecast scheduled for September 16th would take care of itself and all that was required of me as the chairman-elect was to show up.

Of course, the tragedy of September 11th changed that, as it has changed so many other things. I found myself in the middle of a national story that had become important because it symbolized how the very fabric of our culture, things we had taken for granted, were now at risk. My mind was forced to think in ways it had never thought before. Expressions which were no more than clichés suddenly became real.

Barbara Streisand sings at the Emmys

If the entertainment industry had a list of commandments, the first one would be: "The show must go on." This expression traces back to the circuses of the 19th century. If an animal got loose or a performer was injured, the ringmaster and the band kept going so the crowd would not panic.

Our show, too, defiantly went on, but with a 21st century definition of what that meant. We carried on, not merely because our audience needed distraction, but to proclaim our freedom to assemble without fear. We delivered laughter and tears in our three hours on the nation's main stage. Spirits were lifted. Terrorism did not win on Emmy Sunday. It was a good night to be an American.