The Golden Globes telecast received its lowest ratings since 1996. Whether this number reflects TIVO’d Globes or not, it isn’t good for the Hollywood Foreign Press, especially since their live show was canceled last year due to the writers strike.
One of the biggest problems for NBC was Fox’s highly anticipated 24 series premier. It was also on opposite ABC’s Desperate Housewives. If you have to cut one loose, the Globes seem like the obvious choice. For one thing, anyone interested in the awards can read about them online. For another thing, the broadcast is tape-delayed, meaning that by the time it airs on the West Coast, the winners have long since been announced online. There is no surprise left. All that remains is the star power.
Brad Pitt and Angelina Jolie can do a lot of things, fight for refugees in war-torn countries, sell millions of tabloids all over the world, open films at number one; but what they can’t do is drive the ratings through the roof. No, not even Brangelina could save the Globes from the ratings gutter. It is probably going to go like this until someone gets wise to the fact that there is such a thing as the Internet, and on it news breaks within seconds.
Not only that, but there was live streaming TV available for the truly desperate on a website called Justin TV. Each time someone logged on, NBC lost another viewer. If viewers were hoping for an entertaining night of watching celebrities get soused and make fools of themselves, that wasn’t going to happen either. Everyone must be on their best behavior because they’re hoping to go on to win the Oscar.
It is high time they shifted their awards not to compete against other, bigger shows, but to hold their telecast on a night when there is nothing else to watch, and air it live. Tape-delaying it is asking for trouble. It’s hard enough just getting people to buy software or pay for a movie ticket when it is so readily available online for free.
The Globes also offered up few surprises in the television categories; with 30 Rock and Mad Men winning the top prizes. It isn’t that they didn’t deserve to win, it’s that no other shows had the remotest chance at beating them. The Globes are at their best when they are ushering an unwatched show to the forefront. Perhaps 30 Rock still isn’t getting the audience it deserves, but it is already an awards darling.
One funny and slightly bewildering thing that did happen was Tina Fey, who won for Lead Actress in a comedy, thanked several commenters on the awards website The Envelope (an offshoot of the L.A. Times, and formerly Tom O’Neil’s Gold Derby). Apparently there were several haters on the board who took Fey to task for not being good enough and Fey gave them attention. Bad move, lady.
Anyone who regularly comments on boards on the net knows that that kind of attention feeds the commenter the way protein feeds a tumor; they will only grow in stature. This is the kind of thing they will brag about for their rest of their lives. Far from humiliating them, it was exactly what those types of comments are about: getting attention. And to get it on national television?
Oh, Ms. Fey, you need some quick lessons on how the internet works. You see, there are people called trolls and they spend much of their time exacting revenge on people via anonymous comments. They are everywhere. You have to ignore them. It is the easiest thing in a world to leave a negative, hurtful comment with a fake name. It is so much harder to create and produce a show like 30 Rock. Do not stoop, Ms. Fey.