Oprah Winfrey must decide whether Prince Harry and Meghan Markle will appear in The Emmys – with just three tickets to share between the pair and her production crew.
Emmy bosses reached out to the Duke and Duchess of Sussex last month after their stellar CBS interview with Winfrey was nominated for Outstanding Hosted Nonfiction Series or Special.
But the Hollywood Awards event organizers are limiting the nominees to just four tickets, leaving Oprah — and many others — with a tough decision about who to bring.
Emmy chefs let nominees decide their quartet for the event in downtown Los Angeles on September 19.
It means Winfrey has “the golden tickets and the decision in her hands as to who is in attendance,” an industry insider told DailyMail.com
The Emmy organizers are limiting the nominees to just four tickets. That means Oprah Winfrey must decide whether to bring Prince Harry and Meghan Markle or her senior staff
Oprah’s Amazing Sit-Down Interview With The Duke And Duchess Of Sussex Nominated For Outstanding Hosted Nonfiction Series Or Special
The Television Academy has moved the 73rd Primetime Emmys to a mixed indoor and outdoor setting on LA Live’s Event Deck, behind the Microsoft Theater.
The Academy has confirmed that they are cutting back on tickets for both the Creative Art Emmys and the Emmys broadcast.
An industry insider told DailyMail.com that Oprah ‘holds the golden tickets and the decision on who attends’
“While invitations have just been sent out, nominated teams of three or more are now limited to no more than four tickets per nomination,” a statement from the Academy and CBS confirmed earlier this month.
“Unfortunately, this means that not all nominees can go to the awards this year.”
An LA publicist who also struggled with the ticket crackdown told DailyMail.com: “The Emmys have basically been reduced to a bare minimum. The allocation of four tickets is a hard rule.
‘Everyone is the same, the four invitees are determined by the show boss or protagonist. For Harry and Meghan, that means Oprah, the star and production boss, has the last word. She faces a difficult choice because there is a professional and personal list to invite.
“The Emmys are usually stars with agents, PRs, stylists, managers and also loved ones. It’s now a tough job for the talent they think their plus one should be… and then another two!’
The source added that CBS, the network that aired the Winfrey special in March, could try to bend the rules for the Royals.
“CBS is broadcasting and curating the show with the Emmys,” said the award winner.
“Of course they have their own ticket allocation, so they have the potential to bring in Harry and Meghan as compositions for them.
‘That remains an option, but it has all kinds of implications.
‘Certainly many network administrators, showrunners and stars are involved in the allocation process.
“It would upset other category nominees and talent who have painfully cut off loved ones from their invitees for what would be the biggest night of their lives for some. Anyone allowed to ignore the rules would raise eyebrows and perhaps cause friction.
Attending Harry and Meghan would be a huge benefit to the broadcast. Whether the extra audience would attract, is a matter of waiting. But if the show won and one of them spoke, it would certainly cause big waves and all the major headlines.”
Executive producer Tara Montgomery and cinematographer Keith Walker are among those who contributed to the bombshell interview and could be the ‘golden ticket’ to invite to Oprah’s Emmys
IMDb names a series of executive and senior producers responsible for the show, including Corinne Gilliard, (pictured) who is a senior producer
Winfrey has a tough choice about who to choose as her trio of guests. Her longtime partner, Stedman Graham, seems to be a natural plus, although he’s known for skipping events.
Oprah’s best friend Gayle King, anchor of This Morning, will likely be on Monday morning for the show or working in New York.
It is often standard practice for nominated shows and hosts to attend with senior and executive producers.
Winfrey’s production company Harpo and Invent TV oversaw the Harry and Meghan special, with CBS being the primary US partner and distributor. Probably the talk show queen would like to give them tickets.
IMDb appoints a series of executive and senior producers responsible for the show. They include Corinne Gilliard (senior producer), Tara Montgomery (EP), Brad Pavone (co-EP), Brian Piotrowicz (co-EP), Stacey Rossman (associate producer) and Terry Wood (EP)
The respected veteran Wood played a pivotal role in Prince Harry’s collaboration with Winfrey on Apple’s mental health series, The Me You Can’t See. She has been a friend and business partner of Winfrey for many years.
Another consideration for Winfrey will be whether they should bring a publicist and stylist for the night, which was standard practice for most A-listers before COVID.
Another Winfrey ally is cinematographer Keith Walker, who taped the emotional and powerful interview in which The Sussexes spoke about their struggles with royal life, alleged family racism, mental health and the desire to live in the US – and reportedly led to deep controversy and unrest within the royal family.
Their amazing interview provided evidence of long-term friction with Meghan’s in-laws.
More than 17 million people watched the two-and-a-half-hour sit-down interview when it aired in March.
In the Emmy-hosted doc special category, Winfrey will compete for a gold statuette against My Next Guest Needs No Introduction with David Letterman, Stanley Tucci: Searching for Italy, United Shades of America with W. Kamau Bell, and Showtime’s Vice.
After the Emmy nomination was announced, insiders revealed how The Sussexes were lured to make their live Hollywood debut at the awards after settling in California.
The Emmys will air Sunday, September 19 (8:00-11:00 PM, Live ET/5:00-8:00, Live PT) on CBS and are available to stream live and on demand on Paramount+
Their presence would certainly create a buzz around an event that has suffered from falling ratings in recent years.
Last year’s 72nd Annual Primetime Emmy Awards saw the lowest viewership of an Emmy ceremony in Television Academy history.
Amid the Covid pandemic, the show drew just 5.1 million viewers, a 14% drop from the 2019 event, according to Nielsen’s estimates — though it did against Sunday Night Football and the NBA playoffs.
Emmy bosses would love to see the former Suits actress and ex-senior Royal attend the A-list event.
And Winfrey is the bookies favorite for her CBS bombshell interview to take home the Outstanding Hosted Nonfiction Series or Special.
Oprah With Meghan and Harry: A CBS Primetime Special first aired in the US on March 7.
The Emmy insider told DailyMail.com that the Sussexes are already shying away from offers to present at The Oscars and Golden Globes.
The Emmys will air Sunday, September 19 (8:00-11:00 PM, Live ET/5:00-8:00, Live PT) on CBS and are available to stream live and on demand on Paramount+.