The Emmys' telecast "In Memoriam" feature -- forever a staple of the show and not immune to controversy given the weight accorded, or not, to those honored -- will offer expanded tributes to several major industry figures, including James Gandolfini and "All in the Family's" Jean Stapleton.
Cory Monteith, who died over the summer, will also get an expanded tribute, and one wonders whether pressure to give him a big tribute on the show led to this unusual break in format. Typically (as you are aware) industry figures who died during the preceeding year are part of a lengthy tribute reel, but rarely is anyone accorded special treatment. 2013 was certainly an unusual year -- Monteith's death was a blow to the solar plexus of not only "Glee" fans but pretty much any TV fan. But should he have received a special tribute when (say) Stapleton is relegated to a tribute reel? It's unclear whether that idea was ever on the table, but there were trade reports that indicated CBS and the Academy were under pressure to do something special for the 31-year old who died of a drug overdose in a Vancouver hotel room..
Here's how it'll work now, per CBS:
"The telecast producers have selected five individuals who warrant special recognition. To honor them, close friends and co-workers have been invited to provide personal tributes which will be presented during the ceremony, held at the Nokia Theatre L.A. LIVE in Los Angeles and telecast live on Sunday, Sept. 22, (8:00 PM, ET / 5:00 PM, PT) on the CBS Television Network. Those who will provide special tributes include Edie Falco, who will remember “Sopranos” co-star James Gandolfini; Michael J. Fox, who will pay tribute to “Family Ties” producer Gary David Goldberg; Jane Lynch will remember her friend and “Glee” co-star Cory Monteith; Rob Reiner will pay tribute to his long-time “All in the Family” cast member Jean Stapleton; and Robin Williams will remember his friend and mentor Jonathan Winters (“Mork and Mindy”).