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HBO felt snubbed by Emmy song 'Put Down the Remote'

HBO executives were apparently a little miffed that the network was not included in the lyrics of "Put Down the Remote," the song sung by Neil Patrick Harris that opened the Emmy awards show Sunday night on CBS.

The lyrics, which pleaded with viewers not to turn away from the broadcast and from television in general, featured plugs for practically every network nominated except HBO, which had 99 nominations. Considering that the Academy of Television Arts and Sciences and CBS tried to restructure the Emmys this year by eliminating the presentation of awards for movies and miniseries from the broadcast -- two categories usually dominated by HBO -- in favor of just clips of awards being given, one can understand why HBO might be a little sensitive to slights both real and perceived. 

A CBS spokesman dismissed any controversy over the lyrics to the song, saying the network had not heard any complaints from HBO about it. "They had a great night, the spokesman said, adding, "I can't possibly imagine that complaint from a network so well represented on the broadcast."

-- Joe Flint

Comments () | Archives (8)


Is this case of Showtime (a CBS company) vs HBO?

It's not as if National Amusements (which controls CBS, Showtime, MTV, Nickelodeon et al) doesn't have any fingers in the cable pie. But perhaps they would like to maintain their investment in CBS's O&O terrestrial transmitters a bit longer.

Hey LA Times. I love those gigantic rollover internet ads that cover up most of the story and have a teeny tiny "close" button.

Sell more of those rollover ads and you can fire all your reporters because people will never see more than the headline.

HBO sucks.

HBO was left out of the Emmy awards because "It's not TV . . . It's HBO!"

Does NO one have a sense of humor any more?? Harris was great, the song cute, and those network names were rattled off in a single breath. Grow up. We've become a nation of whiners throwing one pity-party after another over trial matters. Let's save the gnashing of teeth for the important stuff.

HBO won 21 Emmys this year. They'll get over it.

Here's the list of networks that were mentioned in that brilliant song: "A&E, ABC, Starz and Biography, NBC, BET, Fox and Discovery, IFC, Spike TV, C-SPAN and TNT, AMC, History, Disney and QVC, CBS, PBS, TBS and I guess CNN, TBN, Showtime and Oxygen."

Guess what? HBO doesn't rhyme with anything, and the prosody of the song made it difficult to "set" to the melody, and the "aitch-bee" combination would be hard for anyone to sing at the breakneck pace this section demanded.

I'd be willing to bet that this horrifying oversight occurred simply because "HBO" just didn't "fit."

The fact that someone felt snubbed is a testament to what a great job songwriters Marc Shaiman and Scott Wittman did, and how perfectly it was performed by Neil Patrick Harris. In my opinion, it was the best opening number for an awards show since Stephen Schwartz's "How Will I Know?" opened the Daytime Emmys -- and that was in 1981.


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