- The Washington Times - Wednesday, August 10, 2005

Winners can babble on

After announcing in April that select Emmy winners would have to expound their laundry list of thank-yous and shed their tears of joy for a pre-taped, timed segment, the powers that be at the Academy of Television Arts & Sciences have once again changed their minds.

All changes have been scrapped, officials said Tuesday.

The planned changes were intended to boost last year’s sagging ratings — the second-lowest ever — and streamline the sometimes lengthy three-hour-plus awards show, Associated Press reports.

Yet the academy’s board of governors decided against the new approach after reviewing the planned ceremony with Executive Producer Ken Ehrlich.

“In effect, the amount of time being saved was not as much as originally thought, and the costs incurred would be in excess of original projections,” the academy said in a statement.

The group had considered even more sweeping changes — including bumping awards in some writing and directing categories from the live telecast, scheduled for Sept. 18 on CBS — to the smaller-scale creative arts ceremony that precedes the Emmy broadcast by a week.

Awards will be presented in 27 categories this year.

A second serving

Gordon Ramsay, the international culinary wizard, will sharpen his knives for a second season of “Hell’s Kitchen,” Fox has announced. The 10-episode renewal came as the culinary competition show wrapped its inaugural season by crowning a winner.

In the TV week ending Sunday, the season finale of the reality series ranked 10th among the week’s top 20 shows, according to Nielsen Media Research.

“Kitchen” featured an often angry and aggressive Mr. Ramsay judging a crew of potential chefs, a la Simon Cowell, through a series of culinary tests and unplanned dinner seatings with actual patrons. The show was Fox’s second hottest hit of the summer behind its other reality series, “So You Think You Can Dance.

There was no word on when and where “Hell’s Kitchen” would return to the schedule — but perhaps Fox can pit it against NBC’s new kitchen-based sitcom, “Kitchen Confidential.”

Velvet rope reality

A proposed reality show set at Snitch, a Manhattan rock ‘n’ roll nightclub co-owned by two members of the Grammy-winning rock band Velvet Revolver, is drawing interest from several cable networks, Reuters news agency reports, citing anonymous sources within the TV industry.

Original Media, the company behind Bravo’s up-and-coming tattoo reality show “Miami Ink,” is shopping around “Snitch,” which would take place at the New York venue of the same name.

“Snitch” would follow the workers — from the bouncers to the bartenders — throughout their daily routines. Each episode also would feature a musical guest who would appear and perform on the show.

Velvet Revolver, whose lead singer, Scott Weiland, and bassist, Duff McKagan, are among the nightclub’s investors, have helped make Snitch a popular post-concert haunt for such rockers as Sum 41 and Cypress Hill.

Compiled by Thomas Walter from Web and wire reports.

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