Wayne Brady is right at home amid the glitz and glamour of Las Vegas, so he jumped at the chance to put on the old razzle-dazzle as host of the Daytime Emmys.
Brady first hosted the awards honoring everything from soap operas to game shows to talk shows in 2003. Now, he's back for the 38th annual shindig airing live from the Las Vegas Hilton on Sunday at 8 p.m. ET on CBS.
Brady, whose old talk show won four Daytime Emmys, will sing and dance during the two-hour show, which opens with him performing alongside Jabbawockeez, an all-male hip hop crew that has their own show on the Strip.
"We're going to do something that maybe folks have never seen on the Daytime Emmys," he said. "We're looking to up the entertainment factor. It's all done with a wink, look at all these feathers and sequins, but we're just here to have a good time."
The show moved to Vegas two years ago after a run in Los Angeles, and its ratings, like many awards shows, have bounced up and down in recent years. Executive producer David McKenzie is focused on putting together a fast-paced telecast loaded with stars.
"We're featuring tons of people that perform in Vegas," he said.
Among them are Marie Osmond, Gladys Knight, Cirque du Soleil and Blue Man Group.
The Daytime Emmys will pay tribute to Oprah Winfrey, who recently ended her lauded talk show after 25 years. She'll receive the Crystal Pillar award for changing the face of daytime television.
Also on his way out is Regis Philbin, who is leaving his syndicated chat fest later this year. He could retire with a trophy, having been nominated for best talk-show host.
"We're going to celebrate those shows and celebrate the stars and make it more of an old New Orleans-type of wake," said Brady, nominated for best game-show host for "Let's Make a Deal," which was previously taped in Sin City.
Joining Winfrey and Philbin on the sidelines are ABC soaps "All My Children" and "One Life to Live," both victims of declining ratings after more than 40 years on the air.
"All My Children" earned 13 Emmy nods and "One Life to Live" had 12.
Because both soaps won't end until later this year, no tributes to them are planned.
"There are great efforts to bring them back," McKenzie said. "Other networks may be taking them, so it would be premature to throw dirt on them."
ABC's "General Hospital" led the way with 21 nominations, followed by CBS' "The Young and the Restless" with 20 and "Sesame Street" with 16.
"All My Children" will vie for best daytime drama, along with "General Hospital," "The Young and the Restless" and CBS' "The Bold and the Beautiful," the two-time defending champion in the shrinking category.
"All My Children" co-stars Alicia Minshew and Debbi Morgan are up against each other for best actress in a daytime drama. Other nominees are Colleen Zenk of "As the World Turns," Susan Flannery of "The Bold and the Beautiful," Laura Wright of "General Hospital" and Michelle Stafford of "The Young and the Restless."
Best daytime actor nominees are Ricky Paull Goldin of "All My Children," Michael Park of "As the World Turns," James Scott of "Days of Our Lives," Maurice Benard of "General Hospital" and Christian Le Blanc of "The Young and the Restless."
Among the presenters are nominees Rachael Ray, Dr. Mehmet Oz, and Meredith Vieira, who ended her five-year run on the "Today" show earlier this month. Also, CNN's Anderson Cooper, Penn & Teller, Peter Marshall and Vanna White.
Hosts Alex Trebek of "Jeopardy!" and Pat Sajak of "Wheel of Fortune" will be honored with lifetime achievement awards, although neither man was nominated for best game show host this year.
The nominees aren't the only ones who could walk away winners.
Viewers can go online and answer questions to enter a contest with prizes featuring trips to Universal Studios Orlando, the Bahamas and a yacht cruise.
"We're just going to have fun and blow the roof off," Brady said.
- Wayne Brady
- soap operas
- Ricky Paull Goldin
- Debbi Morgan
- Alicia Minshew
- Pat Sajak
- the Las Vegas Hilton