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LYNDA HIRSCH ON TELEVISION -- Q AND A
Q: Any word on this year's Daytime Emmys? — Sheldon in Little Rock, Ark.
A: The National Academy of Television Arts and Sciences (NATAS) has announced that David Michaels — actor, producer and founder of TV Cares — has been appointed senior executive director of the Daytime Entertainment Emmy Awards.
Although he lives in Los Angeles he has spent the last seven months in New York to work on the project. Without any specifics, he says there will be some rules changes:
"There are still going to be five soaps eligible in this contest, because 'One Life to Live' will still be in the running. We need to look at that because the following year, there will probably be four soaps. But there are a lot of other categories other than soaps, although it seems like the soaps always get the most attention." This year, Web series will be included.
Will the award that has been around for 38 years be televised? According to Michaels: "I think it is a very good possibility. In fact, I think there is a good probability. That is one of the things that are key to always keep the Daytime Emmys on the air. It is what a lot of people look forward to all year long, which is that telecast. I never want to see it go off the air."
Michaels began working as an actor and a model at age 17, appearing in New York, around the U.S., Canada and Europe in productions, including "Godspell," "Jesus Christ Superstar,"? "Purlie" and "Deathtrap."
He worked steadily as an actor until he competed on a game show, when an immediate fascination with the "behind the scenes" world of daytime television led to his first production job with Bob Stewart Productions. He rose quickly from production assistant to producer, doing over 25 pilots and air shows, eventually producing programs such as the $25,000 and $100,000 Pyramids, starring Dick Clark, and garnering multiple nominations and two Emmy Awards.
Transitioning into the talk-show world, David produced such programs as "Vicki!" (two nominations), "Leeza" (two nominations,) and "Caryl and Marilyn."
At the Academy of Television Arts and Sciences (ATAS), David served as co-chairman of the Daytime Emmy Awards, sitting on the Board of Governors for 14 years as well as on numerous other committees. He founded TV Cares, ATAS' AIDS awareness committee, chairing the committee with Honorary Co-chair Angela Lansbury for 15 years. He also conceived and produced the annual Ribbon of Hope Celebration, honoring programs and individuals for responsible programming in the area of AIDS awareness and education.
Along with Tom Viola of Broadway Cares/Equity Fight AIDS, he helped to make the Red Ribbon an international symbol of AIDS Awareness.
David has produced countless star-studded live charity events, including, "Tap Your Troubles Away: The Words & Music of Jerry Herman," "Something Wonderful: the Richard Rodgers Centennial," "Kurt Weill: The Centennial," "Sing Happy: the Music and Words of Kander & Ebb," "The Best Is Yet to Come," "The Music of Cy Coleman," "Hooray For Love: The Harold Arlen Centennial" and "Everything's Coming Up Roses: The Jule Styne Centennial and Falsettos at the Wilshire Theatre."
With all these varied credits, Michaels seems to have the know for how to plan a live show and to get it done.
Last year's Daytime Emmys were a disaster. "All My Children's" salute after more than 40 years on daytime was as long as a commercial.
Submissions to NATAS are due the first week of February. Nominees will be announced on May 1. June 1 is the date set for the ceremonies.
To find out more about Lynda Hirsch and read features by other Creators writers and cartoonists, visit the Creators webpage at www.creators.com.
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