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Emmy Awards’ Plane Crash Intro Upsets Officials

The annual TV awards show opened with a filmed comedy bit in which host Conan O'Brien was seen sipping champagne aboard a jetliner. "What could possibly go wrong tonight?" he said before the plane crashed onto an island in a spoof of ABC’s hit show 'Lost'.

However, the opener has upset officials who say it shouldn't have aired after a commuter jet crashed in Kentucky during takeoff earlier in the day, killing 49 people.

President and general manager of WLEX TV in Lexington, Tim Gilbert, says he was "stunned" by the intro; and if station managers had known about the intro before the broadcast, local viewers wouldn't have seen it.

"It was a live telecast — we were completely helpless," Gilbert said. "By the time we began to react, it was over. At the station, we were as horrified as they were at home."

Gilbert said he’ll complain to NBC, but he said an apology won’t make up for insensitivity.

"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."

August 28, 2006 |

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