Unsurprisingly, the opening skit of last night's Emmy telecast, in which host Conan O'Brien survives the plane crash that strands him on an uncharted island with the snubbed cast of Lost, didn't go over very well in Kentucky, where just hours before the awards ceremony began, 49 people died in a far less whimsical aviation accident:
The skit, aired live at the start of NBC's Emmy telecast, brought a swift response from the general manager of NBC's Lexington, Ky., affiliate, WLEX. "It was a live telecast. We were completely helpless," Tim Gilbert was quoted as saying on the Lexington Herald-Leader's Web site.
"By the time we began to react, it was over. At the station, we were as horrified as they were at home," Gilbert said.
Gilbert said he was home watching the Emmy show with his family when he was "stunned" by the Emmy skit. He said if he had known about it beforehand, Lexington viewers wouldn't have seen it.
Gilbert said he plans to ask NBC for an apology.
"They could have killed the opening and it wouldn't have hurt the show at all," Gilbert said. "We wish somebody had thought this through. It's somewhere between ignorance and incompetence."
Gilbert's harsh words for NBC are tinged with the grief of still-fresh tragedy, but we're sure that once the emotional station manager rewatches the entire opening bit, he'll realize that there was no way for the network to edit out the badly timed plane crash sequence without leaving viewers unacceptably confused about how O'Brien might have washed up on Lost's island, and he'll ultimately applaud their decision to choose narrative continuity over needlessly cautious sensitivity.