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Jimmy rolls out 
red carpet as 
Emmy Awards host

Published: Saturday, Sept. 22, 2012 5:30 a.m. CDT

After rolling out the red carpet Wednesday morning in anticipation of Sunday’s Emmy ceremony, host Jimmy Kimmel warned he’s planning a prank on folks not watching the show.

“I have an idea for a prank, and if it goes well, will be great,” the first-time Emmy host teased after ceremoniously unraveling the red carpet. “If it goes badly, it won’t be so great. I think it will go well. If you’re watching, you’ll be in on it. If you’re not, you might get caught up in the prank.”

Kimmel, whose “Jimmy Kimmel Live!” received its first nomination for outstanding variety series this year, is looking forward to seeing what TV stars look like out of costume Sunday.

“There’s certain shows you watch, like ‘Game of Thrones’ for instance, and you see these people in their medieval fantasy garb,” Kimmel said. “I don’t know what these people look like in real life. I’m kind of anxious about it. I want to see the kid who breast-feeds his mother. That’s who I want to meet most of all.”

For the fifth year, the show will be held at the Nokia Theatre in downtown Los Angeles. The massive red carpet – more like a red sidewalk, really – will canvass the entire plaza across the street from the Staples Center for Sunday’s TV extravaganza.

“I think that you’re going to see a fresh point of view on the television industry, the year in television and some trends in television, which is going to be coming from Jimmy Kimmel,” said Emmy executive producer Don Mischer. “I think his point of view is unique and quite distinctive. There will be irreverence and humor – a lot of humor.”

Kimmel said the most difficult thing about emceeing the 64th annual Primetime Emmys is juggling hosting duties with his day job.

“There’s a lot of work to be done,” Kimmel said. “I’ve been up very late working on this stuff. You have to write every presenter intro, and then the presenters change or the combinations change, and then you have to change those things. What I’m trying to say is this is a real pain.”

Inside the Nokia Theatre, stagehands were hard at work on the sweeping art deco-style set. The stage has been accented with silver tiles and features a voluminous circular screen hanging above several curved walls that can double as screens.

Place cards on the chairs in front of the stage’s glittery silver stairs illustrated that Tiny Fey, Clive Owen and “Modern Family” stars Ed O’Neill, Sofia Vergara and Ty Burrell will have the best seats in the house: front-row center. Other nominees with sweet front-row seat assignments included Jon Hamm, Nicole Kidman, Julia Louis-Dreyfus, Betty White, Kevin Costner and Bryan Cranston.

It seems several stars won’t be seated next to their co-workers: the “Modern Family” cast is spread out across four rows; Zooey Deschanel is a couple of lanes ahead of her “New Girl” co-star Max Greenfield; and the “Downton Abbey” residents are occupying different parts of the orchestra section.

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