This year, Emmy salutes the world's oldest teenager.
The Academy of Television Arts & Sciences announced Monday that it will pay tribute during this year's Primetime Emmy Awards to prolific TV personality and producer Dick Clark, who got his big break hosting American Bandstand in 1956 and stayed actively in the game until a stroke sidelined him in 2004.
Emmy nominee Barry Manilow, who cowrote and sang the American Bandstand theme song, "Bandstand Boogie," will provide the musical accompaniment to copious clips and kind words.
Clark, 76, founded dick clark productions in 1957, which still produces the Golden Globes, the Academy of Country Music Awards, the American Music Awards and, of course, Dick Clark's New Year's Rockin' Eve. The company also currently produces So You Think You Can Dance on Fox.
American Bandstand still holds the record for television's longest-running music/variety program. Clark has won four Emmys and a Peabody Award and was honored with a Lifetime Achievement Award at the Daytime Emmys in 1994. He has also been inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame.
Clark was still going strong (and remained mysteriously young-looking, prompting the 1999 Simpsons episode in which Clark, who lent his voice, is discovered to be a robot) until 2004 when he suffered what was first reported to be a minor stroke. As it turned out he had to undergo speech and physical therapy and he missed out on hosting New Year's Rockin' Eve for only the second time since its inception in 1972. He was back this past December, though, to cohost with Ryan Seacrest.
Conan O'Brien will man the 58th Annual Primetime Emmy Awards for NBC on Aug. 27, an earlier date than usual because of the network's NFL deal. Emmy telecasts are usually held in September, prompting a bit of concern from the TV Academy that a ceremony held in August may hurt the ratings. But because O'Brien's last outing as host in 2002 drew almost 20 million viewers and because the Primetime Emmys are experiencing a rare ratings upswing (as far as award show viewership is concerned), show producers and NBC suits are remaining optimistic.
Meanwhile, indicating that the performers whom the Academy may have snubbed this year harbor no hard feelings, Hugh Laurie and Felicity Huffman--along with Julia Louis-Dreyfuss, Matthew Perry and Jon Stewart--were just announced as the first group of presenters.