Wednesday, August 5, 2009

Emmys revamp?

As you all know, I love a good awards show and I must say that my most recent favorite (perhaps ever) was this year's Tony Awards. In a word: fantastical.

Well, the Emmy Awards -after experiencing quite the ratings slump- are giving themselves a little nip/tuck. And, according to the NY Times, some Hollywood players aren't happy about it. From Edward Wyatt's NY Times article:
After last year’s ceremony drew the smallest Emmy television audience ever, a survey of viewers revealed that many found the awards to be focused largely on television shows that mainstream audiences did not know and were not interested in.

So the Academy of Television Arts & Sciences has decided to prerecord and edit eight awards this year to allow for more time to celebrate shows that are popular with the public but might not be winning the hearts of Emmy voters.

“We’re going to try and connect the show more to the big picture of television,” Don Mischer, the executive producer of the Emmy telecast, told a meeting of the Television Critics Association here on Monday. The telecast will feature “memorable moments from shows that are familiar and loved, and some of those are going to be nominated, and some may not be nominated.”
Huh? Am I the only one confused by this? "...connect the show more to the big picture of televison." Uh - it's an awards show, folks. Isn't it, by nature, connected to the big picture of television?

Now listen, I didn't see ANY of the shows or performers nominated for the Tony Awards. (Shameful, I know.) But, I tell you what - the telecast sucked me in at the beginning and kept me all the way through Neil Patrick Harris' hilarious 11 o'clock showstopper. Why? Because the show was well paced, entertaining and was an all-around spectacular night of television.

I think the strangest thing about all of this is that CBS knows the gold they struck in the Tony Awards telecast because they produced it ... and now, they're making these choices about the Emmy Awards? Again, confusion. They're definitely trying, though: they made the wise choice of hiring Harris back to host the Emmy Awards.

As I said, Hollywood players aren't happy. The article continues:
The potential changes have drawn the ire of many of the people who are eligible for and who vote for the Emmys, however, including some of the best-known creators and producers of broadcast television series. The Writers Guild of America, West, released a petition on Monday signed by more than 150 writers and executive producers protesting the proposal to remove some writing awards from the live Emmys broadcast.

In a town where self-recognition is a treasured tradition, the Emmys dispute has caused a stir — not least, perhaps, because the ceremony will be broadcast on Sept. 20 on CBS, which ranked third out of the top four broadcast networks in Emmy nominations. Six of the eight awards proposed for prerecording are in categories normally dominated by HBO, which often wins the most awards of any network... “What we need is to make the show more about broadcasting, not about narrow-casting,” said Don Mischer, executive producer.

John Schaffner, the president of the television academy, said he believed the change would be “quite fun” for those in the prerecorded categories. “Not only do they get to go up onstage and win,” he said, “then later in the evening they can sit in the audience and watch themselves win again.”
Seriously? Because clearly, it's all about them. [insert eye roll] Wow - that's what I want in a telecast - to watch a star... watch themselves... win an award that they just won... earlier... that... evening.

Ugh... you can rest assured that you'll be hearing from me post-telecast!

For more, check out the NY Times article.

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