Last year's Emmys rated the worst in the show's 60-year history—so executive producer Don Mischer is working under a little, ah, pressure to turn things around. "All awards shows have been sliding in the ratings," he tells the Christian Science Monitor, and adds that on-set control room, live band, choreography, and host Neil Patrick Harris will spark enough pizzazz to compete with Sunday Night Football.
One earlier solution—to skip the awards many viewers consider boring—was nixed by the creative unions. Enter Harris, who jazzed up the Tony Awards and hopes to do the same here. One key challenge: Doling out the show’s 28 awards while keeping the ceremony festive. “That's a lot," Mischer laughs, "but we will do our best to let everyone have their moment in the spotlight."