A Second Helping Of Slimmed-Down Emmys

emmyAwardHere are a few more perspectives on the “streamlining” of the Emmy show:

– Diane Kristine Wild at Blogcritics: “The Emmys Snub Writers… Again”

Cynthia Littleton and Brian Lowry of Variety write more about one of the other main purposes behind this change: to de-emphasize niche cable shows (which are heavily represented in the chopped-out categories) and focus more of the show on the broadcast-network hits. That’s another possible reason for the decision to show the full writing award for 30 Rock but pre-tape the writing award for Mad Men. This placates the broadcast executives who are tired of turning the Emmy show into a three-hour commercial for cable, and it also theoretically boosts ratings by leaving more time for the mass-market hits. It’s a bit like the Motion Picture Academy expanding Best Picture to 10 nominees in the hopes that maybe one of them will be an actual hit film.

HBO is ticked off: “For a show that has always recognized the best in the television industry, it now seems to be increasingly focused on recognizing broadcast network television.”

Speaking of HBO, they held their TCA presentation yesterday, and the impression I get from reports of that presentation is the same impression I get from that statement: there’s this weird sense of entitlement that permeates the culture at HBO, like every decision they make should be considered brilliant and every show they make should be considered a cut above every other show, simply because it’s them. The quotes from the Hung presentation were full of dumb jokes peurile self-justification (including justifying the decision not to show the organ around which the entire show revolves) that would be considered proof of philistinism or laughable pretension coming from the producers of a broadcast show. But then part of the promotional brilliance of HBO is that they’ve created a brand that allows their bad shows to benefit from a certain presumption of quality. So while HBO has some shows that are quite weak by broadcast-network standards, their weak shows have certain things going for them that make them look like they’re operating on a higher level, when they’re really not.

It’s a bit like how Are You Being Served? is known to be a stupid show in the UK, but outside the UK it’s sometimes mistaken for a quality show because it’s British.

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