Hear that hammering?
That's the last nail getting pounded into the Emmy telecast coffin. Last year, producers thought by bringing in all those popular reality show hosts -- from Heidi Klum to Tom Bergeron -- viewers couldn't stay away. The 2008 Emmys dropped to an 18-year low in total viewers.
Using Neil Patrick Harris as host is a brilliant move. Still, it needs even more juice to get this clunker moving.
Emmy producers need to rip a page out of the MTV Video Music Awards playbook. From crazy Kanye West jumping up onstage to snatch the spotlight from winner Taylor Swift, to Janet Jackson's tribute to her brother Michael, you never quite knew just what to expect.
Grammy can grab those top music acts, the Tonys have those sizzling musical stars and Oscar trots out the Brangelinas, but what can Emmy do? You can tune in and see their stars anytime.
But that hasn't stopped those tabloids from selling out anything with folks like Jon and Kate on the cover. Time for Emmy to work those angles and use these teams for presenters. Here are our top-five picks. Feel free to add your own.
Jon and Kate Gosselin: No need to turn on the air-conditioner. These two could freeze out an Arizona summer. There's no love lingering between the battling Gosselins, and the drama has pumped in plenty of bucks for magazines from US Weekly to People. The chance to see these two forced on stage together? Priceless. We'd like to see them present for best drama, because they've been drama royalty for months now.
Joan Rivers and Annie Duke: Who's better than these bickering b-girls to spice up the telecast? If poker Annie plays her cards right, she might actually get a chance to slip in a couple of quick comebacks before Joan thrashes her with her comedy claws. The two almost made Celebrity Apprentice worth watching this season, so they could certainly amp up the Emmys. Toss in a mud pit, and we could see a real ratings grabber.
Eric Dane and Rebecca Gayheart: Oh, poor McSteamy. Never try playing director when you don't have the equipment. When the couple plus their pathetic porn buddy -- some second-rate beauty contest drop-out -- made the video seen 'round the world, it was more comedy than titillation. Rubber ducks? Really? Yes, they should present for outstanding comedy, because that's exactly what the flick turned out to be.
Katherine Heigl and Kim Kardashian: The double K's know how to keep those caldrons bubbling with their erratic behavior that makes you wonder when the next lightning bolt will strike. Both lack the censor gene when it comes to talking about almost anything in their lives. They may not be able to raise the Kanye crazy bar, but you can bet that they will put on a show that makes you wait for the next cringe-worthy moment.
Paula "I'm not a drunk or a drug addict" Abdul and Simon "If I'm Going to be Honest" Cowell: See them here for the last time ever. Finally, the acid-based life form known as Simon can let us know how he really feels about bat-crap crazy Paula. He can break out more than just marker pens to express his frustration at sitting next to the babbling woman all these years. And Paula? If she can't get some fan support for this appearance, then she might as well just call it a career and move on.