Emmys 2013 Best and Worst: Neil Patrick Harris, Julia Louis-Dreyfus, Merritt Wever and more
Worst: In Memoriam
The In Memoriam segment is always the best and worst times for awards show producers. On the one hand, audiences and viewers look forward to it and it makes the event have some level of real importance (honoring fallen creative peers who have contributed to the nation or world's zeitgeist). On the other hand, there is always someone who inevitably gets slighted or their importance to the industry isn't given enough prominence. This year, for reasons that are still unclear, the Television Academy decided to break out five individuals and give them solo In Memoriam moments: Jonathan Winters, James Gandolfini, Jean Stapleton, Gary David Goldberg and Cory Monteith. That left out legendary "Odd Couple" and "Quincy M.E." actor Jack Klugman, among others. While the individual remembrances were classy, it made the actual traditional segment superfluous. Worse, the overall affect was to, as Modern Family creator Steven Levitan noted during his acceptance speech, make it feel like the "saddest Emmys ever." It was a huge strategic mistake that took all the energy out of a show that is supposed to be the celebration of a year in television.
- Gregory Ellwood