Network executives at NBC have publicly apologised for airing a fake airplane crash as a comedy skit at the beginning of Sunday's (27AUG06) Emmy Awards telecast. Ceremony host CONAN O BRIEN's pre-ceremony skit was savaged by critics yesterday (28AUG06) for its insensitivity - it came just hours after a plane crash in Kentucky left 49 people dead. In the pre-recorded skit, O'Brien's 'crash' mimicked the incident that launched TV series Lost. Following the backlash, NBC bosses released a statement late yesterday (28AUG06), saying, "Our hearts and prayers go out to the many families who lost loved ones in the plane crash in Kentucky on Sunday. "In no way would we ever want to make light of this terrible tragedy. "The film's opening during the Emmy telecast was meant to spoof some of television's most well-known scenes. The timing was unfortunate and we regret any unintentional pain it may have caused."