Ehrlich found an innovative way to deliver the news about the plan to the nominated choreographers — Derek Hough (a double nominee for Dancing With the Stars); Allison Holker, who is not only nominated for Dancing With the Stars, but is a dancer in two of the nominated numbers; and four other nominees, all nominated for So You Think You Can Dance: Sonya Tayeh and Mandy Jo Moore, Napoleon D’umo and Travis Wall.
Ehrlich and the Academy invited the choreography nominees last week to a special reception in their honor. “Once they were there, we sprung it on them,” said Ehrlich. “Neil came and announced, ‘Yes, of course we want to celebrate their nominations, but basically we wanted them to choreograph a number collectively that would be one on the show.’ ”
The events at the reception were taped, and most of the other work on the number will also be taped for a kind of reality show documentary to be shown as part of the presentation on the Primetime Emmys. “It’s obviously a very innovative thing to do,” added Ehrlich.
The choreographers will meet this week to figure out what they will do for the Emmys telecast. One option being bandied includes the choreographers themselves dancing, and each has been invited to hire two of their favorite dancers for the number (likely from the shows they were nominated for). The chance of big-name performers taking part is improbable but remains undecided.
However, Ehrlich said they have been given a budget, which will limit how much they can spend on the dancers and production.
But don’t expect the dance number to open up the Emmys, Ehrlich commented. Instead, it will occur somewhere in “the body of the show.”
“It’s definitely going to be an original number,” said Ehrlich, “something that hasn’t been done before. It’s going to utilize the talents of all of them to put this number together as choreographers.”