NBC acquired the American Comedy Awards and will broadcast the ceremony in May 2014.
The network tapped the Emmy winner Don Mischer, Charlie Haykel and Julienne Hare to serve as executive producers at the awards show honoring those who have reached new heights in film and television. The ceremony will also honor some of comedy’s most enduring personalities and recognize the work of stand-up performers.
George Schlatter created the American Comedy Awards in 1987. The special aired annually on ABC from 1987 to 2001, with Comedy Central airing the final year. In 2003, Comedy Central replaced them with their own “Commie Awards”, which ended up being a one-year contract. In 2011, Comedy Central, owned by Viacom, partnered with Mischer to produce comedy awardswhich was rerun in 2012. Comedy Central billed comedy awards as the premier multi-network, multi-platform event showcasing the world of comedy. They aired on Viacom’s cable networks, including MTV.
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“For all the award shows on television, none are dedicated to comedy, and it’s not that funny,” Mischer said. “So we’re thrilled to be part of a show that will celebrate the community of talented and innovative people who make us laugh every day.”
“We all like a good laugh and the American Comedy Awards will be full of stunning material from the best comedians in our industry,” said Paul Telegdy, president of alternative and late-night programming at NBC. “With creative genius Don Mischer at the helm, get ready for a night of great hilarity. No kidding.”
Mischer is a 15-time Emmy winner and has directed or produced some of the biggest live events on television, including the Olympics Opening Ceremony, the Oscars, and the Super Bowl halftime show.
NBC’s decision to broadcast American Comedy Awards comes as awards shows and other live programming continue to be valuable properties for broadcast networks in the age of DVR. The network attempted to capitalize on the lure of live broadcasts (read: DVR-proof) with Million Seconds Quiza 24/7 game show hosted by Ryan Seacrest. This series, which aired for 10 consecutive days, failed to wow viewers despite a massive push at all Comcast-owned properties. Meanwhile, live elements have historically helped power the network The voice, who have not yet started this season. NBC sits atop the charts this season thanks in large part to DVR-proof football. This year’s telecast will be produced by Don Mischer Productions.