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Daytime Emmy Awards: Will It Be a Classy Celebration or Another Opportunity To Tear Itself Down?

Daytime television ratings are on the rise. Not only have the four remaining broadcast TV soap operas made a comeback in the Nielsens, talk shows, court shows and game shows are all flexing their ratings muscles. This year is the perfect year for the Daytime Emmy Awards to throw a respectful celebration for those who work in Daytime TV. There are many deserving producers, directors, performers and other crew that shined brightly in 2013 and the Daytime Emmy ceremony on June 22, 2014, is their night to be celebrated, not just with clips of the nomoninated work but also with a ceremony that is respectful and dignified.

The ceremony will even include under-appreciated but brilliant talents like DeVanity creator Michael Caruso, nominated in the "Outstanding New Approaches – Drama Series" category.

Improved ratings, new technology (a live-stream to a global audience!) and new blood all make for a potentially wonderful celebration.

In 2011, the Daytime Emmy Awards hired a comedian turned game show host, Wayne Brady, to emcee the ceremony. After Brady disrespected recently canceled soap operas in his opening monologue, the audience booed, leading Brady to utter the worst possible comeback: "I didn't write this crap."

This year, The National Academy of Television Arts & Sciences (NATAS) has hired Kathy Griffin to host the 41st Annual Daytime Emmy Awards. Griffin is a hilarious performer who will garner the ceremony additional mainstream media attention. She's also a surprising choice after her controversial 2007 Primetime Emmy winning speech included the line, "Suck it, Jesus!"

She could be brilliant. Or this could be a trainwreck.

Will Griffin come out and tell the same tired jokes about the decline of daytime TV (which isn't even true anymore)? Will she mock the Daytime Emmys for being live-streamed instead of airing on a broadcast network? Or will she take a cue from the classy Carolyn Hennesy, who hosted the 5th Annual Indie Series Awards in April and brought the crowd to tears with her inspirational opening monologue.

Griffin will set the tone right away, but which tone will she set? Will this year's Daytime Emmys celebrate Daytime TV in a classy way? Or will it tear itself down in a classless "I didn't write this crap" way once again? We'll find out Sunday starting at 8 p.m. ET on daytimeemmys.net.

Spike Jones, Jr and SJ2 Entertainment will be producing the live show at the Beverly Hilton with Terry D. Peterson, Owner, Artistic Director, Verite Productions, Inc.

There is a way to be funny while still keeping it classy.

While we wait to see which direction the Daytime Emmys will go this year, read Hennesy's opening monologue below from April 2, 2014, an example of how to do it right.

Ladies and gentlemen, Madames et Mssrs., Damen un Herren...welcome to the 5th Annual Indie Series Awards.

Before we get fully underway (and I can no longer control you hooligans,) I want to introduce this evening's ISA trophy girl: recording artist, actress, and the daughter of the beautiful Charlene Tilton, who is a nominee here. Charlene, where are you? Please welcome to the stage the gorgeous Cherish Lee.

That's what we call a slow-walking dress. Charlene, lovely work. And for all you fellas at the After Party, no handsies.

Why is this night important to everyone...not just the nominees...but everyone here? Because tonight we not only celebrate last year's finest achievements, but also all of us who might not...yet...be on the fast track to Spielberg or Streep or Cruise stardom, but
know that we have something unique, special and wonderful to share with the world.

And to that end, we are not sitting home whimpering and waiting for the phone to ring...we are out there...

...CALLING in favors and doing favors,

...STAYING up later to hours we didn't know existed and getting up before dawn.

...MAXING out our credit cards and calling mom and dad

...GOING without our own lunches because catering ran a little short and we want the crew eats

...SHOOTING day for night with a blackout curtain and some duct tape

...CASTING our girlfriends or boyfriends, not casting our girlfriends or boyfriends and bringing down a rein of holy hell

...THANKING our mothers for making 8 pans of lasagna and thanking our fathers for letting us hold the cast party at our parentʼs house and for providing the beer.

...PULLING the shirt off the DP because the lead actor forgot he was acting in front of a green screen and showed up in a polo shirt the color of asparagus,

...FORGINH lasting friendships, eliminatingothers that...well, if they didnʼt understand what we are all about and what we are trying to do then they probably werenʼt our friends in the first place

...AND DEALING bravely with the five million other...setbacks... compromises...fix-it-in-post...didnʼt need it anyway...yes, you can change that line...what do you mean the camera truck is stuck in traffic?...I know we donʼt have a permit, weʼll just shoot until the cops come...YES, I can make two potted palms and a cat-box look like a beach on Maui... BULLCRAP...

...BECAUSE we are the little engines that can and the rebels with a cause, doing any and everything that needs doing; essentially saying to Big Mother Hollywood, “I have a lot to do and even more to say and if youʼre not going to help...I will damn well do it myself, screw you!”

I was going to say "fuck" but we are live-streaming and I promised Susan Bernhardt I would keep it classy.

We matter. We matter. Tonight, we're going to show each other, and Big Mama Hollywood and the world...and anyone else who just happens to be watching...exactly how much.

So play nice, keep yourselves in line and don't make me come out there! Here we go...

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