Ricky Kirshner and Glenn Weiss Q&A: Tonys, Oscars, Emmys producers
“I think we’re going to look at the rundown in a totally unique way,” reveals producer Ricky Kirshner about his job taking over the 69th annual Emmy Awards live show this year on September 17 for CBS. Other producers in recent years have showcased each genre (comedy, drama, movie/mini) in long segments rather than scattered out over the three hours. In our recent interview (watch the exclusive video above or listen to the audio podcast version below), Kirshner says they can’t fully reveal their secrets and approach yet: “When the nominations come out, we have to look at whoever is nominated in each category. It’s amazing, by the way, with Robert De Niro, Michelle Pfeiffer, Reese Witherspoon, Nicole Kidman, and some great names. You have to look at the flow of the whole show and how that all works in the context of the show. Sometimes genres work, grouping them all together, and sometimes it doesn’t.”
Kirshner and producing partner Glenn Weiss have become kings of the awards shows and live television productions this century. Kirshner is an eight-time Emmy winner, while Weiss has 11 trophies. They are both nominated together in 2017 for producing the 70th annual Tony Awards (hosted by James Corden). Kirshner also has a bid for producing the Super Bowl LI Halftime Show starring Lady Gaga (up against himself for Best Special Class Program), and Weiss has a nom for directing the 89th annual Oscars broadcast (Best Variety Special Directing).
That Academy Awards ceremony had a momentous and shocking ending when the wrong Best Picture winner (“La La Land”) was announced instead of the actual champ “Moonlight.” Of that memorable moment, Weiss can now admit, “When I knew something strange was going on was about five seconds before you as a viewer knew what was going on. Literally the reason we got as far into the acceptance speeches as we did is that we unfortunately were not informed. The moment we were informed, we took action.”
In addition to these programs, the duo took over the prestigious Kennedy Center Honors for CBS two years ago. For their third producing effort this December, the five artists being honored are Carmen de Lavallade, Gloria Estefan, LL Cool J, Norman Lear, and Lionel Richie. They still can’t announce yet if Stephen Colbert, who is also hosting the Emmys for them in September, will return as emcee and hold court while Donald Trump stares down from his presidential box overseeing the event.