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Fans will share stage at `Daytime Emmys'

A special bleacher section will put about 300 people near their favorite soap, talk show and game-host stars.

June 15, 2007|Beth Harris | Associated Press

Soap opera fans, known for their rabid support of daytime television's liars and lovers, are getting into the action tonight.

"The Daytime Emmys," honoring soaps, talk shows and game shows, will be handed out at Hollywood's Kodak Theatre. About 300 fans will be seated on stage in a red-carpet bleacher section, similar to last year's outdoor fan zone. They can cheer, scream and snap photos throughout the show.

"They're going to go nuts," said Ricky Kirshner, co-executive producer of the "Daytime Emmys."

Lead actor nominee Peter Bergman of CBS' "The Young and the Restless" isn't so sure about the close-up access.

"Just presenting, you could be accosted. Lucky me," he said, tongue nearly in cheek. "It ends up being almost silliness. It's not how I want to celebrate a career achievement."

And if being on stage wasn't enough, soap fans also were invited to comment on their favorite stars and shows via a special website, with some of the remarks to be inserted into the show's nominee introductions.

This year's ceremony also will be scaled back to two hours and won't have any musical numbers or hosts when it airs on CBS at 9 p.m. -- all changes aimed at boosting the ratings from last year's dismal showing.

"You need to make it move fast," Kirshner said. "Every show is represented. There's no lack of star power."

Among the scheduled presenters are Ellen DeGeneres, Rachael Ray, Tyra Banks, Jerry Springer, Alex Trebek and "The View" co-hosts Barbara Walters, Elisabeth Hasselbeck and Joy Behar -- minus the recently departed Rosie O'Donnell.

The quartet could be reunited onstage if "The View" wins in the talk-show host category and O'Donnell attends, as Kirshner anticipates.

The show's lead-in from 8 to 9 p.m. will be a rerun -- a repeat of Bob Barker's final episode as host of "The Price Is Right" after first airing in its usual daytime slot at 10 a.m..

"I hope the Barker lead-in helps because he's been getting huge numbers with his shows," Kirshner said.

Last year's three-hour "Daytime Emmys" show, aired by ABC in late April, attracted 6.1 million people to rank 70th in the Nielsen ratings. That was down 1.5 million from 2005 and less than half what the audience was in 2000.

"Maybe they're in love with the characters more than the actors," said Bergman, a former lead-actor winner for his work on "The Young and the Restless," daytime's top-rated soap.

Barker is nominated for his 18th and 19th Emmys. He's up against Alex Trebek of "Jeopardy," last year's winner, as game-show host

"You hear people say that it's fun to be nominated," Trebek said. "It's more fun to win."

Barker's 50-year career will be honored along with lifetime achievement winner Lee Phillip Bell, who co-created "The Young and the Restless" and "The Bold and the Beautiful" with her late husband William J. Bell.

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