Don’t expect Jane Lynch to show up to this year’s Emmys in a tracksuit.
The Emmy-winning actress says her notorious “Glee” character won’t have much of a presence when she steps up to host this year’s awards show. “I think a little bit of Sue Sylvester goes a long way,” Lynch joked during a TCA session for the 63rd annual broadcast. “I think we’ll probably leave her tracksuit on the Paramount lot.”
Added executive producer Mark Burnett, “Jane said to me, ‘If there’s any nod to sue, it will be very minor.”
Although all ideas are still being honed, Lynch says she’s hoping to perform another big dance number – similar to the one she worked on with Jimmy Fallon last year. Lynch praised Fallon’s emcee abilities, calling him “wonderful,” and cited Billy Crystal and Neil Patrick Harris as inspirations.
Other highlights from the session:
What Lynch Will Avoid: “If it’s not funny and it doesn’t work, [I won’t do it],” she said. “The Rob Lowe [thing] with Snow White years ago – that was one of the most cringe [worthy] moments in awards show history. My goal is that no one will cringe – or very few people will cringe.”
Lynch Has A Hands-On Approach: “Jane has been incredibly engaged,” Burnett said of her involvement in the show. “She doesn’t want to just be given lines. She’s totally in the writing room.”
How They’ll Keep The Show Moving: “The Emmys is three-hours long,” noted Burnett. “The most important thing is pacing with lots of shorter bits and adding in short spoof pieces. We’ve got some great things written.”
What Will Change: One significant departure from previous years will be the way the In Memoriam segment is handled. “It doesn’t need to be a bummer,” Burnett said to cackles from the crowd of reporters. “It can be a celebration of what was left behind. There will be a montage, [but] there’s different ways of tonality and of making choices. You’re there to honor people’s work and you can be very sad about it or uplifted by what’s been left behind.”
How Lynch Feels About Hosting: “Excitement, anticipation and abject fear,” she said, calling those feelings a “necessary awards show cocktail.” Her approach? “A lot of it is being present in the moment and saying yes to everything. There is no take two – I enjoy that and almost seek out that thrill.” While the show will have plenty of humor, Lynch will avoid being snarky. “It’s all about how much affection and love that you bring to the poke,” noted John Shaffner, Chairman and CEO of the Academy of Television Arts & Sciences.
The Social Media Element: “We are evolving,” Burnett said. “What I have learned [from hosting the 2009 MTV Movie Awards] – when Bruno dropped upside down in Eminem’s lap…It was a fun bit for television. [But] What I really noticed was the social media experience. More [people] tuned in for the next act. There’s an element on live television for that when moments happen, social media is very important. It behooves us to encourage those viewers to communicate with other viewers.” So how will they encourage that audience? Like last year, there will be a live backstage simulcast and Thank You cam. “That way we’ll be able to keep the audience engaged during the commercials,” noted Shaffner. “But we still want them to watch the commercials! They can watch the simulcast while watching the commercials.”
The 63rd Annual Primetime Emmys will air Sunday, Sept. 18 at 8/7c on Fox.