I would like to add a few more reasons to the Newsday piece by Verne Gay carried in Saturday’s Buffalo News that explained that viewership of the Emmy Awards is sliding at the same time millions more people watch the Oscars and the less prestigious Golden Globes.
The Emmys always air before the start of the new TV season in the late summer when people still aren’t that interested in television. The airing of it tonight on NBC – a Monday night in late August – certainly won’t help draw viewers.
The Oscars, which also has seen declining viewership on ABC, air in February when the weather in most areas of the country is lousy and more people are in front of their sets.
Similarly, the Golden Globes air in January, when the weather is lousy and much of the nation is huddled in front of their sets.
Another reason for the Emmy audience decline is that in the past it has competed directly with some episodes of the new season of the nominated cable shows.
Speaking of cable, pay-cable and basic cable series now dominate the TV nominations and some of those shows aren’t watched by the same broadcast TV crowd that is more likely to watch the Emmys.
Finally, the decline in the Emmys actually can be blamed on how good television is these days. It’s so good that not even a television critic can watch everything, which means viewership of even the top programs is a fraction of what the top TV must-see programs were getting in the show’s heyday. That means there is no big rooting draw, as there was in the Emmy heyday.
Now it is time for the thing I hate most about the Emmys – predicting the winners.
It isn’t the Oscars, where things are usually very predictable. I mean last year Jeff Daniels won an Emmy as best actor for “The Newsroom.” Nobody saw that coming, not even a big fan of the Aaron Sorkin series program like I am.
A critic predicting the Emmy winners can actually be shutout, which I think might have been the reason that we’ve been doing the “who should win” and “who will win” thing lately.
But my editor asked me to weigh in after The News carried the predictions of four national critics on Saturday, so here it goes. I’ll start with Best Comedy Series. Look back here today for more predictions.
9 a.m.: Best Comedy Series
10 a.m.: Best Drama Series
11 a.m.: Comedy/Best Actress
Noon: Comedy/Best Actor
1 p.m.: Drama/Best Actor
2 p.m.: Drama/Best Actress
3 p.m.: Best Miniseries