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April 23, 2014

Why are the Tonys on network TV?

by Paul Goebel, posted Jun 12th 2007 11:04AM

Martin Short in Fame Becomes MeThis 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.

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Burma

Goodness! That review by Mr. Goebel was a shocker. My family and friends absolutely LOVED watching the Tony Awards and we live in Florida. It was a great evening of entertainment, delightful scenes with terrific acting, songs, and dance... As an added bonus, we weren't assaulted all night with horrible language, violence, or overt sex. It was a treat to see creative talented people rewarded for their excellent creative work and especially touching to see their heartfelt emotional responses. If Mr. Goebel would actually watch the show, perhaps he would then understand why it is still on network television with a very happy audience! We taped the show, will watch the performances again, and look forward to the Tony Awards next year.

June 14 2007 at 10:52 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
BCC

Tess:

I didn't consider touring shows. I apologize. Your post (and others) made the impression that people are watching ONLY the awards in an attempt to appear superior than everyone else. For example:

"The awards show is my brief "in" to that world, and I consider it much more prestigious than the others."

June 14 2007 at 12:22 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
Cynic the Infotainer

I agree with you. Face it, the only reason they're still on network TV is because of the cultural opinion that theater is a higher art than film or TV. Let Bravo run it and be done with it.

"Culture" should be taken from our throats, but not rammed down it!

Cynic out!

June 13 2007 at 4:00 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
lorilei13

I've watched every single Tony Awards show since I was a little girl (I'm 40 now), and have never been to New York to see a show on Broadway. The awards show is my brief "in" to that world, and I consider it much more prestigious than the others. I would be VERY upset if it was no longer televised on a major nework.

June 13 2007 at 10:49 AM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
Tess Capra

"If you don't see the actual show, you are NOT a fan. I can't read about movies and watch talk show interviews and call myself a movie fan. Ridiculous."

We're not talking about being a fan of a particular show, but of Broadway as a whole. You don't see every movie that's released any more than people see every show that's staged. But you probably still read/hear reviews while you're waiting for a DVD release. That's what some of us have to do while waiting for a touring company. But we're still fans of the genre.

By the way, the ratings for the NBA finals were down 24 percent on Sunday from last year, and they're blaming it on the *Sopranos.*

June 13 2007 at 10:43 AM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
Julia

New Yorkers are NOT the only people who enjoy theatre. The fact that I can't make it to Broadway very often only makes me appreciate the Tony awards more. They give me a glimpse of what's new on stage that I otherwise wouldn't get.

It isn't like it's the only thing on television that gets low ratings. Let us theatre geeks be.

June 13 2007 at 9:29 AM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
Sarah

"Let's face it, the Tony's are the bronze medal of major acting awards, after the Oscars and Emmys."

Funny, I see the Tonys as the gold medal - as an earlier poster mentioned (and as actors often say themselves), anyone can do movies, but only true actors can handle theatre. Many actors prefer theatre, but it doesn't pay nearly as well as film. So these awards represent who are *really* the best of the best. Personally, if an actor does well on Broadway, my respect for him/her goes up considerably. And wins a Tony? For the first time, I realize that Frank Langella, who I always thought was a dolt, actually has a lot of talent.

June 13 2007 at 12:37 AM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
BCC

Wow. If you didn't write about Martin Short or the like, I doubt everyone would be on your ass.

"Broadway fans read reviews, watch interviews and talk-show performances, and view clips on YouTube."

If you don't see the actual show, you are NOT a fan. I can't read about movies and watch talk show interviews and call myself a movie fan. Ridiculous

June 12 2007 at 7:46 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
pacino

Keep it on some local NY station.

June 12 2007 at 6:11 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
jds65

Paul Goebel does have a habit of writing "odd" blog posting:
http://www.tvsquad.com/2007/05/22/palmerston-north-nz-can-not-take-a-joke/

In this one he showed his complete lack of a sense of humour by not getting that a town naming a rubbish dump after John Cleese was a joke not some lame insult.

June 12 2007 at 5:35 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

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