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Trivia Games and Sneak Peeks Are Best Bets on Emmy Sites

September 08, 2000|MICHELE BOTWIN | TIMES STAFF WRITER

If you can't wait until Sunday to watch the Emmy Awards on TV, there are plenty of Emmy options online to keep you busy until the big night.

But be warned that much of the Emmy-related content in cyberspace is repetitious filler: lists of the nominees, score-keeping ballots and simple polls and predictions. Only a select few--mainly major entertainment sites--have created compelling interactive features for this year's awards show.

Here's a sprinkling of what you can get on some of the top sites before, during and after the Emmy telecast:

* ABC.com, the official Web site for the Emmy Awards, has the most extensive package. In the "Fun & Games" section, users can play a challenging TV trivia game and enter a "Predict the Winners" contest until 3 p.m. Sunday (grand prize: $100,000 and a cell phone). In the "Behind the Scenes" section, Emmy host Garry Shandling tries out several jokes in a streaming video presentation.

In the "Fashion" section, clothing designers Vera Wang, Randolph Duke, Mark Badgley and James Mischka offer sneak peeks of their collections in video interviews, and jewelry designers Paolo and Nicola Bulgari and Me & Ro's Robin Renzi and Michele Quan talk about their star-studded encounters.

ABC.com will benefit from its affiliation with the network broadcasting the event. From 3 to 5 p.m. Sunday, the site will feature an exclusive pre-awards show from the red carpet, with live, streaming video of interviews and commentary, hosted by Linda Dano. Throughout the ABC telecast, the site will provide live backstage footage, real-time photos and streaming video interviews with winners.

Users will also be able to participate in what the network calls "enhanced TV," or ETV, which essentially means they can play an interactive prediction game online while the show is simultaneously broadcast on television. The top 10 scorers will qualify to win a cell phone.

The game, which is similar to ETV games provided during the network's "Who Wants to Be a Millionaire" shows, requires no downloading and is meant to be an easy, fast and entertaining experience for users, according to Brian Bowman, vice president of ABC.com.

"Our goal is to enhance and extend the viewers' experience by allowing them to experience the telecast in a different way and interact with each other," Bowman said.

Users can also check back Monday for comprehensive photo and video coverage. Go to: http://www.abc.com/emmys.

* E! Online promises a live Webcam for the red-carpet arrivals, beginning at 4 p.m. Sunday. From 5 to 8 p.m., visitors can participate in the "Watch With Wanda" live chat and follow live editorial coverage during the telecast. Users also can read predictions by Tom O'Neil, author of "The Emmys," and peruse past years' Emmy packages.

On Monday, the site will feature its always-impressive wrap-up, including a photo gallery, red-carpet video clips, best and worst moments and a fashion review. Go to: http://eonline.com/Features/Awards/Emmys2000/.

* ICast.com, the recently named Web partner of the Academy of Television Arts & Sciences, features a Webcast of the academy's Creative Arts Awards, taped Aug. 26. The site also hosts an Emmy parties forum, in which users can ask a party crasher questions in advance for celebrities she may encounter. (Already on the list: "Ask Tony [of 'The Sopranos'] if Fredo is still in Vegas" and "Ask Jennifer [Aniston] if not having her mother at her own wedding was a 'touchy issue.' ") The site will conclude its Emmys coverage with post-party photos and off-camera observations. Go to: http://www.icast.com/tv.

* ET Online, "Entertainment Tonight's" site, offers a "Guess the Winners" contest open until 5 p.m. today; the grand-prize winner will receive a digital TV recording device. The site also features a "Dress ET's Jann Carl" poll, a game, interviews with the nominees and last year's photo gallery. ET will present live coverage, including red-carpet fashion and stories, on Sunday. Check back for a photo gallery. Go to: http://www.etonline.com.

To be sure, there will be lots of Internet congestion on Emmy night. Streaming video will be blurry and choppy, even at high modem speeds. As in past years, chatting, playing games and flipping through photo galleries may be the best bets for following the gala event online.

Michele Botwin can be reached at michele.botwin@latimes.com.

* Complete Times coverage of the Emmy Awards, including live updates during the show and exclusive video, photo galleries, discussion boards and a quiz, is available online. Go to: http://www.latimes.com/emmys.

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