In the wake of Tuesday's tragedy, ripples of change continue to spread throughout the television industry. While production remains halted on new and returning series, network and studio officials are facing scheduling headaches, postponing or canceling televised events and rethinking some of the season's biggest-buzz shows.

The Academy of Television Arts and Sciences is scrambling to organize a new date for the 53rd Prime-Time Emmy Awards, which were slated for Sunday in Los Angeles. Despite speculation that the accolades could take place September 23, a few major conflicts, including a comic-book convention planned at the Shrine Auditorium for that day and prior obligations for show producer Lou Horvitz, make the move unlikely. Even if the network does reschedule the show for September 23, it will create further scheduling snafus, as CBS' new Richard Dreyfus drama The Education of Max Bickford, set to debut on the 23rd, would then have the be shuffled elsewhere.

Most of the major nets have confirmed they will preempt primetime programming Wednesday and possibly Thursday for news programs, however UPN will go forward with regularly scheduled shows. Spokespersons for ABC, CBS and NBC indicate it is unlikely that they will resume airing daytime soap operas earlier than Friday.

NBC released a statement saying, "In light of the recent tragic events in our country, NBC has decided to postpone the premieres of the network's fall prime-time programs--previously scheduled to begin Monday, September 17 to Monday, September 24. Further developments could alter this plan."

CBS postponed the premiere of its new drama Wolf Lake, set to debut Wednesday night, for at least one week; the net also postponed the second episode of its latest reality project, The Amazing Race, until next week. Fox, meanwhile, postponed for a week the debut of its new Love Boat-esque reality series Love Cruise, which was set to premiere Tuesday night.

Elsewhere on the Eye net, the three remaining houseguests of in-progress reality show Big Brother 2--Will, Monica and Nicole--were informed that a terrorist attack on the World Trade Center occurred, but it's unclear how much information the contestants were given. Monica, who lives in Brooklyn, was apparently told that her family members and friends were okay, but snippets from the show's subscription-based Internet feeds suggest that the housemates were not told the extent of the tragedies. The houseguests, as part of the competition, have no contact with the outside world, including phones, TVs, radios and the Internet.

Meanwhile, tonight's episode has been postponed, and a source at CBS tells E! Online there's a good chance the show will not air an episode on Thursday, which was to feature another houseguest being removed from the competition. But matters get sticky for the network from there, since it would have to be decided whether or not to keep the contestants in seclusion a week longer than anticipated.

The networks also thought better of theatrical movies scheduled to air later in the week. Fox will swap in Mrs. Doubtfire for the Sunday night screening of Independence Day (which includes a scene of the White House and the Empire State Building being blown up), while ABC is substituting the romantic dramedy Hope Floats for the George Clooney terrorist flick The Peacemaker on Saturday.

The immediate future of one of the most highly anticipated new shows of the season, Fox's Keifer Sutherland drama 24, remains up in the air. The show, involving an assassination plot that includes terrorists blowing up a passenger airplane, is scheduled to debut on October 30. The network immediately pulled promos for the show on Tuesday, and, though the premiere is still more than a month away, speculation is that the show, at the very least, will be retooled out of sensitivity to the tragic events of Tuesday. Such a move would not be a simple task, as the series already has several episodes in the can.

In addition to Fox's 24, two other new fall 2001 series have plots that deal with terrorism and the CIA, including ABC's Alias, set to premiere on September 30, and CBS' The Agency. The latter, which was scheduled to debut in a lavish premiere event next week in Washington, D.C., is tentatively still set to hit airwaves on September 20, but the premiere event has been canceled.

Terror, the five-hour NBC miniseries that was set to star cast members from all three of the network's Law & Order shows, has been scrapped altogether. The mini was scheduled for next spring. "[It is] inappropriate to produce the Law and Order miniseries dealing with terrorists, dealing with terrorism, in light of the horrifying events that have unfolded," says a statement from producer Dick Wolf and Studios USA.

Tapings of NBC late-night series The Tonight Show with Jay Leno and Late Night with Conan O'Brien have been suspended for the remainder of the week, as has CBS' The Late Late Show with Craig Kilborn, while CBS' The Late Show with David Letterman was already in repeats this week.

All Major League Baseball games have been postponed at least through Thursday night. If officials decide to postpone games throughout the rest of the week, as they have indicated they are likely to do, the World Series would then be delayed by a week, which would also delay Fox's entire fall 2001 premiere schedule. The network already has later premiere dates than the other networks because of its World Series coverage. Meanwhile, several college football contests have been scrapped and the National Football League is also considering nixing the weekend games.

The Latin Grammy Awards, which were to be televised Tuesday night in Los Angeles, were canceled and will not be rescheduled. National Academy of Recording Arts and Sciences chairman Michael Greene told Variety he made the decision to cancel the event altogether because of the "unimaginable events" of Tuesday. The show, which was scheduled to air on CBS, cost nearly $4 million, as production had been moved from Miami to L.A. last month because of security concerns.

Never before have the Grammys or Emmys been shut down by a news event. However, in 1978, the Emmycast was delayed 30 minutes when President Jimmy Carter announced the Camp David peace accord with Egyptian Anwar Sadat and Israeli Prime Minister Menachem Begin. The Oscars have been delayed twice by headlines--Martin Luther King Jr.'s assassination in 1968 and the assassination attempt on President Reagan in 1981.

Meanwhile, organizers of the Miss America Pageant, say the show will go on as scheduled September 22. Pageant CEO Robert Renneisen said he consulted with ABC to make the decision and all agreed that pulling the plug on the show (which has never been canceled in its 80-year history) would send the wrong message.

Among those killed Tuesday was multi-Emmy winner David Angell, a 54-year-old writer-producer credited with such hits as Frasier and Cheers. He and his wife, Lynn, were aboard American Airlines Flight 11 from Boston, one of two hijacked planes that smashed into the World Trade Center. They were returning home to Los Angeles after attending a family wedding in Massachusetts.

Angell joined Paramount in 1983 as a Cheers staff writer, hooking up with Peter Casey and David Lee in 1985 to become supervising producers of the show, then onto Wings and Frasier. He won two writing Emmys and six for producing Best Comedy Series.

Paramount said in a statement: "Words cannot express our sorrow at this incredible loss. David has been at Paramount since 1983, and his talent, wit and humor will be deeply missed. We cherished our relationship with David and Lynn, and our hearts go out to their family and friends."

  • Share
  • Tweet
  • Share