The CBS Beatles special, The Night That Changed America, has snagged six Emmy Award nominations. The star-studded program -- which culminated with a live reunion of Paul McCartney and Ringo Starr after each had performed their own separate sets, was taped in L.A. on January 27th -- the day after the Grammy Awards, and aired on February 9th at 8 p.m. -- exactly 50 years to the day and hour that the Beatles made their debut appearance in America on The Ed Sullivan Show. The Night That Changed America has been nominated for Outstanding Variety Special; Outstanding Direction for a Variety Special; Outstanding Lighting Design/Lighting Direction for a Variety Special; Outstanding Music Direction; Outstanding Sound Mixing for a Variety Series or Special; and Outstanding Writing for a Variety Special.
In addition to that, McCartney’s appearance in NBC’s Best Of Late Night special for his performance of "Scrambled Eggs" with Jimmy Fallon is vying against the Beatles special in the Outstanding Variety Special category. McCartney and Ringo -- who's performances were among the highlights of The 56th Grammy Awards -- is up against The Night That Changed America in the Outstanding Lighting Design/Lighting Direction For A Variety Special award.
The all star gala actually resembled an all Beatle music Grammy telecast and featured Dhani Harrison paying tribute to his late father on George Harrison's masterpiece "Something" with ELO's Jeff Lynne and Joe Walsh. Although Sean Lennon was visible throughout the show singing and clapping along in the audience, he did not perform. After playing show closing solo sets, Ringo Starr joined McCartney's band to sing lead on his signature tune "With A Little Help From My Friends" before drumming on the show's finale, "Hey Jude."
Throughout the special, David Letterman, who tapes his Late Show at the same studio where the Beatles shot their Sullivan Show appearances, interviewed McCartney and Ringo both together and on their own. He was with them as the pair stood together on the theater stage for the first time since they taped their final performance for Sullivan on August 14th, 1965: "(Ringo): No, I was just so excited -- I mean, even coming back yesterday. . . (Letterman): Yes. . . (Ringo): Coming back, I've been back, a hundred times . . . (Letterman): Uh-huh (Ringo): I've done the show with you, but it's like I'm getting involved in the excitement of it all then. Y'know, it's not like we go around and say, 'oh that day. . .' Now I'm here, I'm looking out the window, I'm in the Plaza (Hotel) and all the kids were down there. (McCartney): Mmm. (Ringo): And now we're back on this stage again. The memory I have, if we weren't standing here, was it was four times bigger than this. (Letterman): Oh yeah. (Ringo): Y'know what I mean -- you felt there was thousands of 'em but, really no. (Letterman): Well, there was another balcony. . . (Ringo): Ah, okay. (Letterman): There was a third level of about 150 more seats. So, it wasn't that many more -- but enough to make a difference. (McCartney): But it's like going back to your old school, isn't it? (Letterman): Yeah. Well, that's right, yeah. (McCartney): It looks little now, but it was huge when you were. . . yeah." :