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updated 09/14/1992 AT 01:00 AM EDT

originally published 09/14/1992 AT 01:00 AM EDT

The Emmy Awards telecast has become something less than a Nielsen knockout. On a slow summer night with no competition, the program still drew 9 million fewer viewers than an average episode of Roseanne. In an embarrassing turnaround, the Daytime Emmy Awards has attracted more viewers during the past two years than its prime-time counterpart. Last week's feckless, bloated 3½ hour show, the worst in the six years Fox has broadcast the Awards, was a pretty good indicaton of why more people don't watch. Despite a wonderful turnout of talent and some great clips from series past and present, the program was marked, right from the opening, by faulty camera work, flat, predictable humor (except for Rosie O'Donnell), flubbed cues, jagged transitions, flaccid pacing, blatant self-promotion and dull phone-book acceptance speeches (except for the one given by Murphy Brown creator Diane English). In the interest of saying something nice, let me note that Kirstie Alley's hair looked great—lustrous and full of life.

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