Friday, January 08, 2010

View From the Phlipside - The Emmys

These are the scripts from my weekly media commentary program on WRFA-LP Jamestown

My name is Jay Phillippi and I've spent my life in and around the media. TV, Radio, the movies and more. I love 'em and I hate em' and I always have an opinion. Call this the view from the Phlipside

What would happen to a major media award if it lost the support of the industry that it supposedly served? What would happen if the industry itself decided it wasn't sure it was worth the time and effort to even promote the awards show itself? We may get the answer to that question sooner than you might expect. Amazingly it's the television world that is standing at the brink with their award, the Emmy.

Seems that the Emmy, the award that's actually ABOUT television hasn't been doing very well on television. The ratings have been terrible. The latest news is that the broadcast TV networks that air the show have been cutting back on their promotion of the event which doesn't help either. There's been lots of talk about the awards shows for the last couple decades. They're too long, the artists do silly things or blather on and on and on, they're old fashioned and more than a little dull sometimes. In reality though both the Oscars and the Grammys, the awards for movies and music, have managed to hang onto their ratings and both finish AHEAD of the televised television awards program. You'd think THAT alone would be enough for the TV industry to pull together to get things fixed.

Ah, pull together, there's the other major problem that the Emmys have. You see the TV industry is a lot like a dysfunctional blended, Brady bunch kind of family. On one side you have the "older kids" meaning the broadcast networks and on the other side we have the "younger kids" the cable networks. Add in that the cable kids have been racking up a LOT of victories and multiple award winners like "Mad Men" and you have the making a major family fight. You see the award show is always on a broadcast network, this year it's NBC, yeah the news just gets worse and worse. The broadcast children are tired of being the stage for the glorification of the little kids. This despite the fact that the old paradigm is dead, dead, dead. Something like 80% of homes get TV from cable or satellite. It's really not "big brother broadcast networks" any more. Besides LOTS of those cable networks are owned by the network owners too.

TV needs to understand that they are all part of the same industry. They need to use their own medium to showcase their own medium. It's a chance to really let all the great things on television to really get a moment to shine. In other words it's time to stop acting like children.

Call that the view from the Phlipside


Anonymous said...

The problem is that the Emmys are beginning to hand out awards to shows that fewer and fewer people watch. "Mad Men" is a good example, pulling in less than 3 million viewers on AMC. Meanwhile, the Grammys award popular artists and that show and the Oscars, even when the Oscars doesn't give awards to the "biggest" movies, are sure to attract viewers because of the stars who show up. But when the presenters and recepients on the Emmys turn into a parade of stars from shows few watch, it's a recipe for declining viewership.

DaYouthGuy said...

Certainly true. My challenge to the networks is maybe they need to produce some better quality programming...