The Emmys this year appear to be trying to be more like the Oscars, packing the ceremony with musical numbers that maybe aren't so necessary in this context.
Today the Television Academy announced that Carrie Underwood—a.k.a. Maria von Trapp—will perform a tribute to the music of the early 1960s as part of a tribute presented by Don Cheadle to television's role in covering the JFK assassination. Cheadle, Michael O'Connell of The Hollywood Reporter reported, will touch on Beatlemania, hence the Underwood medley.
In addition to the in all likelihood totally unnecessary Underwood performance, Elton John will perform a tribute to Liberace, and host Neil Patrick Harris will be in a dance number created by nominated choreographers. The choreography category was usually reserved for the Creative Arts Emmys, which were handed out last week, but was moved to the main ceremony to make use of Harris. And it's still only Wednesday, there could easily be more production numbers in store for us.
Look, it's not like the Emmys don't always have some filler. Though it's probably for the best if everyone just forgets about the time TV actors like Zachary Levi and Cobie Smulders sung ditties as a group called the "Emmytones," there have been amusing bits in recent years. Take last year's filmed skit which reframed Breaking Bad as The Andy Griffith Show or Conan O'Brien doing The Music Man's "Trouble" in 2006 about NBC. For the most part the Emmys have stuck to lighthearted, mocking interludes in between the acceptance speeches, not self-serious production numbers.
The Emmys don't need to be the Oscars—which this past year may have overdone it on the song and dance bits—they shouldn't try to be. Even Harris decided not to open with a big musical number for this go around, and that's saying something for Mr. Tony Awards.