Fri, 21 Sep 2012 09:35:59 GMT | By Kent Laird, Lead editor for MSN TV and Movies

Jimmy Kimmel Talks Primetime Emmys

Late-night host taking the reins for TV's biggest night


Jimmy Kimmel Talks Primetime Emmys

Fans of Jimmy Kimmel and late-night programming have even more to look forward to than his upcoming move to the 11:30 p.m. time slot as the talk show host suits up to host the 64th Primetime Emmy Awards. The veteran host of many shows and events takes his first turn at the helm of TV's biggest award show. Also nominated for an Emmy, Kimmel sat down with MSN TV to talk about hosting the big show, who he can't wait to see and what moving to a later time slot means to him.

First off, thanks for your time. How excited are you to host the Emmys on Sunday?

Jimmy Kimmel: Hmm, excited is such a specific word. I'm having a lot of anxiety about it. Hopefully I will be excited when it's over.

You are also nominated. Which is better: getting the nomination or being asked to host?

They are both pretty good, but I must say, I'm a lot more focused on hosting the show than thinking about whether or not we'll win our category. Mostly because I know we aren't going to win our category [laughing].

You don't know that; I'm rooting for you.

Seems unlikely, but thank you!

You've got a pretty long and impressive list of hosting experiences. Anything particularly special about this show?

Well, definitely, this is my ... the other award shows, I was a guest. Whether it be the American Music Awards, where I'm not in the music industry, or the ESPYs, where I'm not in the sports industry, or coming into Washington, D.C., I'm always an outsider at those events. This is little bit more like being at a family wedding. Without alcohol. There's nothing better than a 5 o'clock wedding.

In regards to interacting with and commenting on particular audience members, is everything fair game?

I think so. I'm not there to embarrass or insult anybody, but we are there to have fun. I believe that will be the spirit in which everything is taken.

I can't imagine there are many people you haven't met, but is there anyone in particular you are excited about seeing on Sunday?

Yeah, I want to meet that kid who breast-feeds with his mother in 'Game of Thrones'. [Laughing] I don't know if he'll be there, but I want to know how that has affected his life at school.

What's one thing to be on the lookout for that will make this year's show different than years past?

Well, you know ... I think on a lot of these award shows they try to use social media and it's kind of a joke. They'll put up people's comments at the bottom of the screen, tell you to use a certain hashtag and write this and that. It always feels like your aunt and uncle who don't understand the Internet encouraging you to use it. I am planning on doing something that actually makes use of the Internet in a truly interactive manner during the show. I can't give you any more details than that, but I think that it should be a lot of fun.

Are there any shows or actors that you are rooting for?

Yeah, there are a lot of them. There are a lot of people that I've known for a long time and a lot of shows that I'm obsessed with. There's probably a couple in each category, but, you know, as host, I feel uncomfortable saying who I'm rooting for in each one, as I don't want to give an appearance of impropriety. As you know, my credibility is of paramount importance to me [laughing].

Awards aside, what's been your favorite shows of the year?

We always watch 'Modern Family'. I like 'Game of Thrones' ... 'Breaking Bad' is a favorite here in the Kimmel house. 'VEEP', 'Girls', you know ... I watch a lot of sports. I'm mentally going through my TIVO list. 'Homeland' -- we are very much looking forward to coming back. Pretty much all the good ones, we watch. I watch 'Downton Abbey', believe it or not, although I sort of lost interest halfway through the second season. But I was very into it during the first season. I was wearing a lot of cufflinks for a while [laughing].

Speaking of shows, are you looking forward to moving to the 11:30-ish time slot?

Yeah, that's a good way of putting it, 11:30-ish, because that's exactly when it is on.

Whenever the news ends, right?

[Laughing] I like to be on time. I think the show should start right at 11:30. You're absolutely right. It's somewhere between 11:34 p.m. and 11:37 p.m. Depending on what's going on. Yeah, I'm looking forward to it. It will be interesting to see what happens. I have been doing this show for 10 years in this time slot, and now all of the sudden we're going to be opening the doors to the public. I don't know what the reaction will be. In a way there's been certain things we've been able to keep as our little secret on the show and they won't be so much of a secret anymore. I just think that it's a great opportunity to ... expose ourselves to people. [Laughing] Pun intended.

The 64th Primetime Emmy Awards air Sunday, Sept. 23, at 8 p.m. ET/5 p.m. PT on ABC.

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