From the moment it was announced that this year’s Primetime Emmy Awards would handle the annual In Memoriam segment differently, by singling out certain fallen stars for special remembrance, many cried foul.
And in its actual execution, the new approach didn’t earn many fans either.
Sprinkled throughout Sunday night’s CBS telecast, James Gandolfini (The Sopranos), Jean Stapleton (All in the Family), sitcom scion Gary David Goldberg, comedy icon Jonathan Winters and Glee‘s young Cory Monteith each were paid distinct tribute by individuals who had worked alongside them. But the spoken remembrances took the place of clips. And toward the end of the night, anyone else who had passed on in the past year was denoted in a montage of static B&W photos.
Clipping the clips was “a very conscious decision,” Ken Ehrlich, the producer of the 65th Primetime Emmy Awards, tells TV Guide Magazine. “I felt it was more important to focus in on the faces of the people that were talking about them, because of their personal relationships, and allow them to speak.
“We’ve all seen clips of All in the Family or Tony Soprano,” he added. “What we haven’t seen is Edie Falco or Robin Williams or Michael J. Fox talking about people they really loved.”
Still, there’s the fact that this year’s approach gave added due to but a few, not among them the estimable and iconic likes of Larry Hagman or Jack Klugman (whose son last week voiced called the perceived slight “criminal”). “I would have loved to do more. But there’s only so much time you have,” Ehrlich explained. “And I thought we devoted the proper amount of time to those five pieces and then to the In Memoriam [montage].”