Los Angeles — The Emmy Awards telecast, delayed three weeks by the Sept. 11 terrorist attacks, was canceled Sunday after United States and Britain launched a military attack in Afghanistan.
CBS spokeswoman Susan Marks, which announced the cancellation, did not elaborate on the network's decision.
CBS President Leslie Moonves, Academy of Television Arts and Sciences Chairman and CEO Bryce Zabel and show executive producer Don Mischer later said that they are leaving the door open to holding the Emmys at another time, just not on the same day that the U.S. military and Britain deployed missiles to Afghanistan in response to the Sept. 11 attack on the World Trade Center and the Pentagon.
A key factor in the decision appears to have been the boycotting of the event by certain celebrities over the military actions taken Sunday.
"Certain high profile shows and casts did not want to participate tonight," Moonves said.
The television industry had grappled in the weeks following the attack with the propriety of holding a celebration such as the Emmys.
The Recording Academy canceled its second annual Latin Grammys show on Sept. 11.
Emmy organizers had sought to create a night of muted celebration, asking participants to cut back on red-carpet arrival fanfare and forgo showy gowns and tuxedoes in favor of business attire.
Veteran newsman Walter Cronkite was invited to help set a serious tone. The ceremony on CBS, with master of ceremonies Ellen DeGeneres, was to include tributes to heroes and victims of the attacks on New York and Washington.
In deference to East Coast-based nominees, part of the presentation of 27 awards was to take place in a Manhattan studio. The bicoastal Emmy broadcast was the first in more than two decades.
HBO's mob drama "The Sopranos" had bids in seven categories, while NBC's White House drama "The West Wing" held six nominations. Both were up for best drama series honors.
"The Sopranos" grabbed the most nominations in July, a total of 22, to 18 bids for "The West Wing." But after September's creative arts ceremony, the NBC series had four Emmys in hand to one for "The Sopranos."
In last month's creative arts ceremony, awards were announced in categories including outstanding choreography, editing and makeup, and in the new reality series categories.
NBC and Fox received a leading 11 awards, followed by HBO with eight, ABC with seven, and CBS, PBS and UPN with three each.
"Survivor," the CBS program whose success helped spur the reality series craze in America, was honored as best among programs in which the show's participants competed for a prize.
"American High," a documentary series about high school students that was dropped by Fox and picked up by PBS, received an Emmy for best reality program that didn't involve a competition.
Four acting awards for guest roles were given out. The winners were Derek Jacobi and Jean Smart for episodes of "Frasier," Michael Emerson for "The Practice" and Sally Field for "ER."
For best commercial, the award went to PBS' "Photo Booth" spot.
Since there is still a possibility of holding the awards at some date in the future, ATAS will not be giving out the list of winners until a decision is made.
However, Moonves did stress that although the show has been cancelled twice now, he doesn't think "television will be scarred forever."