Call it a contest within a kudo-cast. In an effort to add some pizzazz to the Sept. 18 Primetime Emmy Awards telecast, producers plan to stage an "Emmy Idol" competition that calls for stars ranging f

Call it a contest within a kudo-cast. In an effort to add some pizzazz to the Sept. 18 Primetime Emmy Awards telecast, producers plan to stage an "Emmy Idol" competition that calls for stars ranging from Kristen Bell to William Shatner to belt out classic TV theme songs.

Viewers will be able to vote for their favorite performance via the CBS.com Web site and through a text-messaging option.

After years of declining ratings for television's most prominent awards content, officials at the Academy of Television Arts & Sciences vowed to shake up the status quo and take this year's live telecast beyond the routine of award presentations and breathless acceptance speeches.

"There are certain television theme songs that are nearly as memorable as the shows connected to them," said Ken Ehrlich, executive producer of the 57th annual Primetime Emmy Awards, who has a long history of producing music-related TV programs. "By jogging memories as well as creating wonderful moments by having them performed on this year's Emmy show, we think we're giving viewers one more reason to tune in and be entertainment."

Ehrlich said the telecast will open with the multigenerational pop group pairing of the Black Eyed Peas and Earth, Wind & Fire performing the latter's hit "September."

Among those slated for the "Emmy Idol" contest segments to be sprinkled throughout the three-hour telecast are Bell, star of the UPN drama "Veronica Mars," who will tackle the theme from the 1980s drama "Fame," and "CSI: Crime Scene Investigation" cast member Gary Dourdan with singer Macy Gray, who will duet on "Movin' on Up," the theme from "The Jeffersons."

Megan Mullally (“Will & Grace”) and "The Apprentice" boss Donald Trump will team up on the theme from the 1960s farce "Green Acres." Shatner, who is up for supporting drama actor honors for his work on ABC's "Boston Legal," will be part of the night's most unusual pairing as he and opera star Frederica von Stade take a stab at a vocal rendition of instrumental theme from "Star Trek," the 1960s sci-fi drama that made Shatner a household name.

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