After decades of airing – most recently on Fox – Episode 71Street The Miss Universe contest is the latest television event to go live. Roku has inked a one-year deal to be the official English-language home of Miss Universe, which will broadcast live from New Orleans on January 14, 2023, at 7 p.m. ET.
Among the changes in the move: It will not be Steve Harvey, who hosted for five years as part of the Miss Universe deal with Fox (except in 2021, when that agreement was paused due to the COVID-19 pandemic). Back. According to Miss Universe Organization director Amy Emmerich, a new host — who is expected to be a female — will be announced in the coming weeks.
“My goal was really to make sure we led with a female lens the next round,” says Emmerich. “Hopefully we can talk about that soon… It was a rare opportunity to be able to reboot in a brand new setting.”
Emmerich had just joined Miss Universe in January, and has been busy looking for ways to reform and modernize the organization. And with the US English-language deal in place (Spanish-language broadcasts continue on Telemundo), Emmerich said she’s looking forward to reimagining Miss Universe’s global distribution.
“I’d like to do one big package and go global because the global audience is so huge, but we’re locked into a lot of different regional deals,” she says. “This isn’t going to end for another year. So we said, well, the best thing that could happen to this brand is to move to a place that also starts over again. WME immediately suggested Roku. I’m aware.” [Roku originals head] David [Eilenberg] from the past and he had just joined there. From the first conversation, I kind of knew it was the right place for you. Roku has always had personality. They’re really in keeping with who they are, even with the original programming coming up. And Miss Universe needed some chances.”
The news comes as Roku continues to expand its original offerings on its ad-supported service, including the second season of Nassim Pedrad’s comedy “Chad” and the recent TV movie “Weird: The Al Yankovic Story.” It also joins a slate of live broadcast events that previously moved to streaming, including “Dancing with the Stars” (from ABC to Disney+) and the ACM Awards (CBS to Amazon Prime Video).
“As more and more high profile events move to streaming, we’re excited to offer these exclusive experiences for free to our fans,” said Roku Vice President of Programming Rob Holmes.
Because it is on a broadcast device, the Miss Universe event will be watched live across the country. Emmerich said Miss Universe and Roku are currently looking at unique ways to play around with commercial breaks and other streaming elements.
“Now that we have Roku, what can we do exclusively for them during this commercial space that audiences can feel like they’re seeing more of the inside, behind the scenes,” she says. “I joined here hoping to bring a level of transparency that I don’t think exists in the organization and Roku kind of like that idea. It’s also a great time to look at the data and see what works.”
A new US TV partner and new CEO aren’t the only new beginnings for Miss Universe this year. The organization was just bought in October by Thailand-based JKN Global Group PCL (run by CEO Anne Jukapong Jakrajutatip) from previous owner IMG.
“The first woman to own the brand, it will be a change in itself for 70 years,” says Emmerich. And I think especially because of Anne’s background, what she feels is about transformational leadership and how she can really fight for a future that women can afford a little bit more than a man can at IMG. I think she came with a desire to know early on, what is the vision of how we want to change the brand Commercial I think she sees it happened over the course of the year more than one woman, it happened one night.
“I thought that was a great sign that she was asking, what are we giving women? What else do they gain when they go through the organization? It’s not about winning the title, what else are they going to walk away from? How do we provide a service where we can create more leaders of the future?” “I think she’s visionary. She has a lot of ideas and she takes a lot of risks. The idea that we can do a lot more beta testing in Thailand before we roll it out around the world, I think it would actually be easier than trying to beta test it in the US and then roll it out.”
Emmerich admits that there was not a lot of transparency in the criteria for choosing Miss Universe, and the interpretation of the job that comes with being Miss Universe was also ambiguous. Her tenure as CEO began trying to redefine all of that, while also looking at global franchisees — currently about 55% run by women, she says. (“I thought it was important to highlight that.”) Emmerich isn’t shy about calling Miss Universe a “pageant,” but she refuses to call women who appear from countries around the world “contestants.”
“That’s always a big argument in the office,” she says. “Because I really see it as a live job interview. They’ve already won their local or national pageants. They’re the reigning champions of this place, Miss Universe Venezuela, Miss Universe Colombia and so on. So, it really comes down to who gets the Miss Universe job.” “Language is important and how we refer to it. So, a lot of that is going to shape the shift. And then finding more time to learn about their stories. Most likely the Top 16 will be groups and packages about who these women are, what they faced, and really trying to highlight different stories from All over the world. How these women symbolize their culture and their countries. It’s not about beauty anymore. I hope people start to recognize the first of these changes.”
But Emmerich says she’s also aware of not moving too fast — which is why the swimsuit competition continues.
“I didn’t remove my swimsuit,” she says. “That’s a big question. It was very clear that that moment was more about the strength of their voice, than the strength of their bodies. But being able to own the strength of your sexuality was something very interesting to me. And as a woman, we were basically raised to hate our bodies from birth. And in This moment they own. And they own it in an interesting way. Of course, I’d like more body positivity and plus-size women to be represented, but I think that’s going to take some time. I think we need to show this audience that we have a safe space for them. And that’s the work that We have to do.”
Emmerich is also looking to improve transparency when it comes to the voting process.
“In the past they would put the results on TV, but the audience is very aggressive, and they will basically bully the selection criteria if they don’t like the result right now,” she says. “We had to take that away and do something that was at least transparent to the reps doing their work. But yeah, it has to evolve. We’re working with Ernst and Young, which was a big draw for me, thinking about all the different ways we can Someone’s choice but in the ways you need to mathematically prove it. So hopefully we’ll have more to talk about in January.”
Emmerich learned the importance of this matter as the Miss Universe Organization continued to investigate this year’s Miss USA pageant. After this year’s contestants accused Miss USA of rigging their results, Miss Universe suspended her contract with Miss Brands (which operates Miss USA under a licensing agreement).
“There was some questioning about judgment and judgment,” she says. “I’m able to say, ‘We’ll stop now and make sure we take a real look at this. I didn’t want social media to dictate the outcome. I wanted to get some facts behind it before we made any decisions.'”
Emmerich says she also expects to turn some heads over the decision to allow delegates from both Russia and Ukraine to attend this year’s Miss Universe. (It is still not clear whether or not Miss Russia will appear in the show.)
“Miss Universe is trying to say it’s apolitical, but we believe in pushing and creating a platform for delegate votes as high as possible, whatever they believe in,” she says. “I didn’t feel we should hold Miss Russia responsible for something that was beyond her control. That’s why we said yes.”
71Street The Miss Universe event will be held at the Ernest N. Moriel Convention Center in New Orleans, where nearly 90 women will represent countries from around the world. Besides swimwear, the categories include interviews, evening gowns, and impact on society. And the 70th Miss Universe, Harnaz Sandow, will crown her successor at the end of the night.