Emmy Awards Will Officially Go Hostless in 2019, Fox Says

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The awards ceremony will instead dedicate time to outgoing TV programs like 'Game of Thrones,' 'Empire' and 'Big Bang Theory.'

The Emmys are officially going without a host this year.

Much like the Oscars in February, the 71st annual awards ceremony will not be emceed by a host, Fox confirmed Wednesday.

This is the first time since 2003 television's biggest night has opted to go this route. The reasoning for a hostless ceremony is to dedicate more time to groundbreaking programs that have left the small screen during the 2018-19 television season.

"We've been working hard on the Emmys, and the Emmys will go hostless this year," Charlie Collier, CEO of Fox Entertainment, told reporters at the Television Critics Association summer press tour. "Our job is to assess how to elevate the program in the year we're lucky enough to broadcast it."

"What's interesting about this year to me is how many amazing shows we're saying goodbye to. You've got Game of Thrones, our own Empire, Veep and Big Bang Theory. You really do have to look at all the trade-offs," he continued. "If you have a host and an opening number, that's 15, 20 minutes you can't use to [honor] the shows. I look at the honor that is broadcasting the Emmys... and our production team... really have had to balance those trade-offs. We will go hostless this year, and I think it will give us more time to honor those shows."

When asked if the decision was also inspired by the slight increase in ratings for this year's hostless Oscars on ABC, Collier acknowledged it played a part in Fox's decision.

"That was a piece of information we gathered and looked at, and it did do very well. It was certainly something we paid attention to," he said. Collier cautioned, however, that it wasn't the only factor he and Emmy producers had considered in making this decision. 

Collier confirmed that discussions were had internally at Fox about choosing a possible host, but the decision was made by Emmy producers to focus on the television season that was, most notably the slew of outgoing programs this year.

"The producers came to the conclusion that spending more time on those shows and giving them a way to be elevated really was the right thing to do," he said.

The Emmys have gone hostless only three times in its 71-year history, first in 1975, then 1998 and 2003. Saturday Night Live's "Weekend Update" anchors Michael Che and Colin Jost hosted last year's awards ceremony, which was broadcast on NBC.

The 71st annual Primetime Emmy Awards will air live coast to coast on Sunday, Sept. 22 at 5 p.m. PT/8 p.m. ET on Fox.