YOU ARE HERE: LAT HomeCollections

Emmys, by Wayne Brady

The performer with his own talk show goes prime time as host of the annual awards for daytime TV.

May 16, 2003|Mark Sachs | Times Staff Writer

The 30th annual Daytime Emmy Awards won't be handed out until tonight, but talk-show host Wayne Brady's already come away a big winner.

The star of his eponymous variety gabfest, seen locally at 10 a.m. weekdays on KCAL, will be the host of the Emmy broadcast, which will air in prime time (8 p.m. on ABC) from New York's Radio City Music Hall.

The versatile Brady will have plenty of time to show his stuff on the telecast, since this year the Daytime Emmys show has been expanded to a third hour.

"It will be a lot of fun," predicted the 30-year-old performer, whose singing, improv and interviewing talents recently helped earn his daytime show renewal through next season. "They asked if I was interested in hosting, and I thought it was a great opportunity. The challenge for anyone is what can you do to make it enjoyable and make it different, and that's what I want to do."

And how will he do that?

"The Daytime Emmys haven't been focused on providing show-biz entertainment," he said. "I don't want to give too much away, but there will be an opening number and a monologue, and we'll use a bit of technology to look at some of the soaps' greatest moments. As I said, I think it will be fun." Adding to Brady's satisfaction are his two Daytime Emmys nominations, with his show picking up two more.

"I think we're the little show that could," he said. "We didn't know if we could thrive in that environment, but this has turned out to be a great year."

Brady, who previously had been nominated for two traditional Emmys for his work in the prime-time improvisation show "Whose Line Is It Anyway?," made his daytime debut with the syndicated "The Wayne Brady Show" in September, and it was his work there that helped draw the attention of network brass planning something special for tonight's show.

Brian Frons, president of ABC Daytime, said that in developing a framework for the awards show, the idea was to shoot high -- very high.

"I think what we wanted was to use the Oscars as an unreachable goal," Frons said.

He said the network was looking for someone from daytime programming, "a really funny host who could do a lot of different things." A guy like Wayne Brady.

"His name was raised and it took me about 10 seconds to say, 'Yeah,' " Frons said. "He's really a full-out performer." Scheduled to serve as presenters will be some stars who got their start on soap operas, said Frons, including Mark Hamill ("General Hospital") and Judith Light ("One Life to Live").

As for Brady, who became the first African American to serve as host of the Miss America competition last fall, he has some tinkering in mind for his daytime show.

"I want to bring an edgier humor, a sense of speaking straight and honestly about things," he said.

"People think that because this is daytime we have to be really sweet no matter what the issue is," he continued. "But that's cheating the people at home. I think we have to have a point of view on the show, and it will be different coming from a guy. I'm not Jenny Jones or Ricki Lake."


Daytime Emmys

What: 30th annual Daytime Emmy Awards

When: 8 to 11 tonight.

Where: Broadcast by ABC from Radio City Music Hall in New York City

Who: Wayne Brady is the host. Presenters and honorees include Barbara Walters, Sharon Osbourne, Rosie O'Donnell, John Ritter, Kelly Ripa, Vivica A. Fox, Eric Roberts, Susan Lucci, Anthony Geary, Peter Bergman, Judith Light, Debbi Morgan and the New York Yankees.

What else: "The Wayne Brady Show" airs from 10 to 11 a.m. weekdays on KCAL.

Los Angeles Times Articles