By James Hibberd
Updated August 05, 2011 at 12:00 PM EDT

Celebrities are dead, let’s party!

This year’s primetime Emmys producer Mark Burnett (of Survivor and Shark Tank fame) was asked by TV critics at press tour how he’ll make this year’s telecast different. “I think ‘In Memorial’ doesn’t need to be a bummer,” Burnett said, drawing a big unintentional laugh from the critics.

But wait-wait, let the man explain what he actually meant by that:

“It can be a celebration of what’s been left behind,” Burnett said. “One thing about being in this business is people can enjoy your work after you’re gone. I’m looking of it being a more of a raise-up than a bring-down.” The sequence will still be a montage of footage from the person’s career, the producer said, but “there’s different ways of tonality, of making choices.”

Otherwise, Burnett said the show will have more “spoof moments” like on the MTV Movie Awards, which Burnett recently produced. “You can jump off the cliff on MTV, you can lean over it [on Fox],” he said. “Good-natured fun about what television is, that’s our theme.”