Commentary

Competition For The Emmys? Maybe A Younger-Skewing TV Awards Show?

Just when you though there was an esprit de corps around the modern 21st century TV industry, old prejudices still come into play. It's still broadcast versus cable.

 

Now it appears some in the TV industry have had enough of the flustering and failures of the TV academy for its consistently devalued TV property, the Emmys. 

Low ratings, ho-hum shows, lackluster broadcast network support, and a consistent trough of cable awards piling up at HBO and other cable networks, such as AMC for "Mad Men," have forced some TV executives to say: "enough."

Rumors abound that former TV Academy Foundation president and current Sony Pictures Television president Steve Mosko is on the hunt to convince the Paley Center for Media (the former Museum of Television and Radio) that the industry would be better served by a revamped TV awards effort.

The long-time Emmy Awards have been swamped by other younger-skewing awards efforts, including one airing almost at the same time: MTV's major effort, the "Video Music Awards."

The Emmys have tried to stay current and positive. But multiple repeat winners in the same category, along with weakening marketing support by the specific network that airs the event each year, have brought  a shrug-of-shoulders attitudes among critics and viewers alike

For the Emmys, it is all the more galling that other long-time awards shows have, for the most part, maintained their heads above water.

The Academy of Motion Pictures Arts & Sciences' Oscar awards event has kept its status -- with decent TV ratings -- in the face of many new entertainment and film award shows. It still typically is the second-highest rated TV show of the year. Even the Grammys have more viewers than the Emmys.

Some executives like Mosko believe the marketing of television revolves around big, live, glitzy events. The sense is the Emmys have lost the will to fight - especially in dealing with the infighting of broadcast versus cable networks.

The TV industry should learn some drastic changes are in order -- and that might mean letting a cable network have a shot at airing the Emmys.

Hey, if the movie academy can learn to deal with independent movies stealing the thunder of those big wide-release studio pictures, TV's honor-seeking executives can try "Keeping Up with the Kardashians."

1 comment about "Competition For The Emmys? Maybe A Younger-Skewing TV Awards Show?".
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  1. Douglas Ferguson from College of Charleston, December 27, 2009 at 6:53 p.m.

    It's sad when an entity loses its "coolness" and cannot go quietly into that good night. Broadcast TV was cool for so long but cable began eating its lunch a few years ago, in the 1990s. That broadcast TV is so-last-century is undeniable, so it's time to get over it. And give back all that underutilized spectrum, while you're at it. It was nice while it lasted, but it's over. Maybe someone needs to do an intervention.

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