By Stephen M. Silverman
Updated October 09, 2001 02:38 PM
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A determination to hold the twice-postponed Emmys awards or cancel them out altogether this year will be made by the end of the week, officials of the Academy of Television Arts & Sciences announced on Monday. The 53rd Annual Primetime Emmy Awards were pre-empted on Sunday night because of the start of the U.S. air attacks on Afghanistan. The Emmys were originally set for Sept. 16 but were moved up to Sunday because of the Sept. 11 suicide hijackings. Organizers denied that postponement was due to security reasons, although clearly many participants and guests had reservations about attending a high-profile event on the same day as the air strikes, reported Reuters. The show’s host, Ellen DeGeneres, 43, was in mid-rehearsal at L.A.’s Shrine Auditorium Sunday morning when the announcement came that the show would be scrapped. She told the Los Angeles Times that she was devastated by the whole situation. “I feel so many different things,” she said. “I’m thinking about those poor, innocent people in Afghanistan.” According to the Hollywood Reporter, the plan had been to have venerable CBS News anchor Walter Cronkite, 84, open the show from the satellite studio in New York that was added to accommodate East Coast-based nominees. His words would have focused on the unique role that TV plays in making viewers “eyewitnesses to history” and the medium’s ability to bring the country, and indeed the world, together in times of crisis. Once the strikes began and the show was canceled, Cronkite told the Emmy show’s producer, Don Mischer, that the decision not to proceed felt like “the right thing to do,” Mischer said.