Why are the Tonys on network TV?
This year the Tony Awards garnered the lowest ratings since 1992. Most people are quick to say that it's because they were broadcast on the same night as the finale of The Sopranos but we all know better, don't we?
The Tony Awards are given for excellence on Broadway, which for many years now has been an oxymoron. Aside from the occasional movie star driven vehicle like Martin Short's Fame Becomes Me or blockbusters like The Producers, Broadway has done very little of note in a long time. More importantly, any decent Broadway production is overpriced while also being sold out, giving average Americans little chance to ever see a Broadway show.
All that aside, it still puzzles me why anyone would be interested in spending three hours watching an awards show for productions and people they know next to nothing about. Are there people outside of New York who are so tuned in to the shows on Broadway that even though they have never set foot in a theater that didn't sell Raisenettes, they still want to know who won?
The biggest question I have is why other award shows like the Cable ACE Awards and The American Comedy Awards go unwatched and eventually unproduced, when the Tonys continue to merit three hours on network television year after year? Is it strictly for nostalgia or are Broadway shows such money machines that it can't help but spill over onto TV?
Personally, I have never watched the Tonys, nor do I know anyone who does. It just seems fairly obvious to me that it's time for the Tonys, the Miss America Pageant and any other dinosaur of an awards special to find a cable channel where they live out the rest of their days and then quietly fade away.