With six months as an NBC late-night host now behind him, Seth Meyers is ready for prime time.
The “Saturday Night Live” alum is stepping out from his “Late Night With Seth Meyers” duties to guide the television industry’s top event. The 66th Primetime Emmy Awards will have a live NBC broadcast at 8 p.m. Monday from Los Angeles’ Nokia Theatre L.A. Live.
“I feel, certainly, the most ready I’ve ever felt,” Meyers maintains of his Emmys role, “but I think I’d feel more ready a year from now as well. It’s great to be able to do a monologue every night. That has been so helpful for approaching something like this.
“I’m happy I hosted the ESPYs a couple of times,” notes Meyers. “I’m happy I did the White House Correspondents’ Dinner. My skill set is always going to be in the monologue and telling the jokes, and the understanding of how much work you have to put into getting a really good monologue to open a show like this.”
Top nominees likely to factor into Meyers’ remarks include HBO’s “Game of Thrones” (the leader, with 19 nominations), FX’s “Fargo” (18) and “American Horror Story: Coven” (17), AMC’s “Breaking Bad” and the HBO movie “The Normal Heart” (16 each), and Meyers’ former home, NBC’s “Saturday Night Live” (14).
The streaming service Netflix remains a relatively new, very big factor in the Emmys, with 13 nominations for “House of Cards” and 12 for “Orange Is the New Black.”
Still, Meyers reasons, “No matter how much TV changes, our job is still just to be entertaining for the three hours. I think people come to award shows (because) they like the idea of award shows. It’s the same thing about taking over a late-night show. I think you have to give the best version of yourself, figure out the kind of show we’re going to build for my skill set, and just try to be entertaining in a really old-school way.”
The 2013 Emmy telecast was heavier than usual on the “In Memoriam” side. Executive-produced again by variety show veteran Don Mischer, this year’s program will have remembrance – surely encompassing Robin Williams and James Garner’s recent passings – but more in line with the self-contained segment of earlier years.
“We want to approach it the way we would approach anything,” Meyers says of the latest Emmy show, “which is to just be upbeat and have fun. I don’t think we’re guided by last year’s as much as the way we would approach anything like this. And certainly, we don’t want it to feel morbid. We want it to feel like a celebration of this year in TV.”