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Kerry Washington & Diahann Carroll Will Co-present At Primetime Emmys + Some History...

Television
by Tambay A. Obenson
September 5, 2013 2:27 PM
5 Comments
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Announced via press release this afternoon...

Four pairs of TV actresses have been unveiled as additional presenters for the 65th Primetime Emmy Awards event taking place on Sunday, September 22 on CBS, from 8-11p EST.

The 4 pairs include Emmy nominees Kerry Washington and Diahann Carroll, Emmy nominees Tina Fey and Amy Poehler, Zooey Deschanel and Emily Deschanel, and four-time Emmy Award winner Allison Janney with Anna Faris. T

Of course Kerry is nominated this year for her role in the ABC series Scandal, making her the first African American woman since 1995 to be nominated in the category of Outstanding Lead Actress in a Drama Series.

She will present with a 4-time Emmy Award nominee in Diahann Carroll, who broke ground with her own TV show, in 1968 - the comedy series Julia.

Although historical comparisons/connections were previously made between the two (Washington and Carroll), Ms. Carroll was actually not the first African American female lead in a network drama series. That distinction goes to Teresa Graves, who starred in Get Christie Love!, which had its premiere in 1974.

Maybe the phrase "You're under arrest, sugah! rings the bell?

Emphasis on "comedy" versus "drama" series.

Teresa Graves was killed in a fire at her home in Los Angeles in 2002. She was just 54 years old. 

I'd assume that if she was still alive, she'd be paired up with Washington to present at the Primetime Emmys, instead of Carroll, given that the producers of the show appear to be going for the historical significance of it all - specifically that, with Scandal, Washington became the first black woman (since Graves did in 1974) to lead her very own hour-long dramatic series on Network TV. An almost 40-year gap!

Pathetic, isn't it?

By the way, Carroll co-starred with Washington in Tina Gordon Chism's We The Peeples earlier this year.

Executive produced by Ken Ehrlich, the 65th Primetime Emmy Awards will be hosted by Neil Patrick Harris, who also serves as a producer on the telecast.

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5 Comments

  • curious1 | September 5, 2013 7:20 PMReply

    Drama vs Comedy notwithstanding, 1968 was 6 tumultuous years before 1974. Diahann Carroll did precede Ms. Graves so the TV Academy got it right in terms of sheer history. It could be argued that her success made "Christy Love" possible. Ms. Carroll has opened doors for decades and remains a shining example to this day - an amazing woman.

  • FactChecker | September 7, 2013 10:47 PM

    @Curious1 ... I completely agree with your post. Diahann Carroll has been a trailblazer in television, in particular, for black women, and in the industry, in general. I'm glad to see the Emmy's acknowledging this passing of the torch, as it were, by having her present with Washington. You ROCK, Ms. Carroll!

  • Jihudi | September 5, 2013 2:49 PMReply

    Enlighten me Tambay, how can TERESA GRAVES be the first Black female lead with "Get Christy Love" when "Julia" aired from 1968 to 1971. Did the pilot air in 67 and then ABC decided no go and shelved it for another 7 years? Just asking? Trivia: Did you know Cicely Tyson was supposed to be Christy Love but got injured like a day before cameras were set to roll?

  • Syrich | September 5, 2013 3:27 PM

    Allow me to respond to your question by quoting from above, "Although historical comparisons/connections were previously made between the two (Washington and Carroll), Ms. Carroll was actually not the first African American female lead in a network drama series. That distinction goes to Teresa Graves, who starred in Get Christie Love!, which had its premiere in 1974. ... Emphasis on "comedy" versus "drama" series." Basically, "Get Christy Love" was considered a drama and "Julia" was considered a comedy.

    Interesting trivia about Cicely Tyson starring as Christy Love. Thanks.

  • Curtis | September 5, 2013 3:20 PM

    "Emphasis on "comedy" versus "drama" series."

    Julia was the first 1/2 hour comedy series with a black lead. Christie Love was the first hour-long drama series with a black lead.

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