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April 23, 2014

Emmy ratings plummet

by Kelly Woo, posted Sep 22nd 2008 7:02PM
In a surprise to nobody, ratings for last night's Emmys broadcast flirted with all-time lows.

An average of 12.2 million viewers tuned in, which the L.A. Times says is the lowest number since at least 1990. That's down 6 percent from last year and, even worse, the show dropped 12 percent in adults 18-49 (the Laugh In and Dragnet bits didn't help, I'm sure).

Critics are having a field day tearing apart the broadcast. USA Today said the show "seemed designed to convince us that we shouldn't be watching ... television." The L.A. Times called the unscripted opener featuring the five reality hosts "unforgivably bad." And Salon declared it the "lamest Emmys ever."

Check out AOL TV's take on last night's best and worst Emmy moments and weigh in: was this year's ceremony the worst ever? And how can they fix the Emmys next year?

Emmys 2008 Show Photos

    Jean Smart accepts the award for outstanding supporting actress in a comedy series for her work on "Samantha Who?" at the 60th Primetime Emmy Awards Sunday, Sept. 21, 2008, in Los Angeles. (AP Photo/Mark J. Terrill)

    AP

    Jean Smart accepts the award for outstanding supporting actress in a comedy series for her work on "Samantha Who?" at the 60th Primetime Emmy Awards Sunday, Sept. 21, 2008, in Los Angeles. (AP Photo/Mark J. Terrill)

    AP

    Jean Smart accepts the award for outstanding supporting actress in a comedy series for her work on "Samantha Who?" at the 60th Primetime Emmy Awards Sunday, Sept. 21, 2008, in Los Angeles. (AP Photo/Mark J. Terrill)

    AP

    Jean Smart, right, accepts the award from presenter Juila Louis-Dreyfus for outstanding supporting actress in a comedy series for her work on "Samantha Who?" at the 60th Primetime Emmy Awards Sunday, Sept. 21, 2008, in Los Angeles. (AP Photo/Mark J. Terrill)

    AP

    Jean Smart, right, accepts the award from presenter Juila Louis-Dreyfus for outstanding supporting actress in a comedy series for her work on "Samantha Who?" at the 60th Primetime Emmy Awards Sunday, Sept. 21, 2008, in Los Angeles. (AP Photo/Mark J. Terrill)

    AP

    Jean Smart accepts the award for outstanding supporting actress in a comedy series for her work on "Samantha Who?" at the 60th Primetime Emmy Awards Sunday, Sept. 21, 2008, in Los Angeles. (AP Photo/Mark J. Terrill)

    AP

    LOS ANGELES, CA - SEPTEMBER 21: Actor Jeremy Piven kisses Amy Poehler's stomach after winning the Emmy for Best Supporting Actor, Comedy Series for "Entourage" as Tina Fey looks onstage during the 60th Primetime Emmy Awards held at Nokia Theatre on September 21, 2008 in Los Angeles, California. (Photo by Kevin Winter/Getty Images) *** Local Caption *** Jeremy Piven;Tina Fey;Amy Poehler

    Getty Images

    LOS ANGELES, CA - SEPTEMBER 21: Actor Jeremy Piven accepts the Emmy for Best Supporting Actor, Comedy Series for "Entourage" onstage during the 60th Primetime Emmy Awards held at Nokia Theatre on September 21, 2008 in Los Angeles, California. (Photo by Kevin Winter/Getty Images) *** Local Caption *** Jeremy Piven

    Getty Images

    LOS ANGELES, CA - SEPTEMBER 21: Actress Tina Fey (L) and Amy Poehler announce the nominees for Best Supporting Actor, Comedy Series the onstage during the 60th Primetime Emmy Awards held at Nokia Theatre on September 21, 2008 in Los Angeles, California. (Photo by Kevin Winter/Getty Images) *** Local Caption *** Tina Fey;Amy Poehler

    Getty Images

    LOS ANGELES, CA - SEPTEMBER 21: Actress Tina Fey (L) and Amy Poehler announce the nominees for Best Supporting Actor, Comedy Series the onstage during the 60th Primetime Emmy Awards held at Nokia Theatre on September 21, 2008 in Los Angeles, California. (Photo by Kevin Winter/Getty Images) *** Local Caption *** Tina Fey;Amy Poehler

    Getty Images

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Melody Warbington

Kim,

I didn't watch the show and my "rant" as you call it was to point out why. Perhaps I got a bit carried away, but at no time did I use profanity, call anyone names, or indicate that I hate half the country. I don't even hate Hollywood, although I find it hard to stomach the disdain actors display toward those of us living in the red states. Bet you're a fan of dailykos.com. Talk about hate-filled. If you feel compelled to respond, please go ahead. You can have the last word, or post, if you will. I said a prayer for you and Hollywood at church last night, so I've had my say.

September 25 2008 at 2:04 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
Melody Warbington

Stillbash, I have voted in every election since 1976, including federal, state and local elections, so please do not lecture me on my "responsibilities" (which I've spelled correctly).

Hollywood is obviously not as smart as it thinks or it would figure out by now that the only thing most Americans want from actors is entertainment, and even that has been sorely lacking in the last few years. We do not want or need their political commentary, whether blatant or subtle (e.g., comments made last year vs. this year), nor do we need to be told what is best for us or how ignorant or bigoted we are just because we do not adhere to the liberal mindset. We do not want or need to be told how to spend our money which we work much harder to earn than you do with your courageous acting on your grueling set. We do not need a telethon to encourage us to give since studies show that those of us Hollywood calls the religious right (i.e., those who attend church regularly) are much more likely to give to charity and to volunteer our time, even to secular causes. Note that Utah is the state with the highest average per-capita charitable contributions, followed by Alabama, Mississippi, Tennessee and Arkansas. Guess us rednecks do not mind sharing our money as long as it is voluntary and not forced income redistribution.

Hollywood celebs do not have a monopoly on creativity either; they usually do have exceptional connections that make it far more likely for them to find an audience for their art or talent than for some random unconnected equally creative person. Also, their descendants usually have the financial resources needed to spend time being creative, while the rest of us spend all day working to pay the bills. Give me a problem solver instead of an actor any day.

Finally, we do not need your hypocrisy. Do not stand on stage and tell how us how bad the economy is while only a few minutes before you were talking about your fabulous dress and shoes which cost more than most of us make in a year. At least the IRS finally wised up and began taxing your swag bags that this year included gifts of Valentino and Jimmy Choo sunglasses ($300-$400), Rock & Republic jeans ($200-$300) and Klipsch headphones ($350) just to name a few. Other gifts included getaway weekends to the Waldorf-Astoria Collection, Dakota Mountain Lodge in Park City and Trump's Resort in Las Vegas, free Lasik eye surgery from Gary Kawesch and the Laser Eye Center, teeth whitening by Dr. Catrise Austin, pet food for a year from Merrick Pet Care, Trapeze lessons from Trapeze New York, custom pool tables from Mars-Made, eco-friendly vacuums by Eureka and much, much more. And you wonder why we do not watch your self-serving night of self-gratification.

September 23 2008 at 4:50 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
1 reply to Melody Warbington's comment
Kim

Again, why do you watch this show and why must you rant, rant, rant!? I guess you should save your tv viewership for Bill O'Reilly since everyone should be required to share your world view. By the way, I'm certain there must be a conservative blog site that you can go and rant to your heart's content. It must be so difficult to be filled with such hatred for half of the population of the US.

September 24 2008 at 9:24 AM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
StillBash

I think it's blatantly obvious that all the people here complaining about the award show being political comprise the whopping 50+ percent of non-voters every election.

Just admit it. You want to be left alone with politics altogether. That's why you watch reality TV and sports. You want to see racist bickering by lowlifes and sex drugs and rock and roll. You don't want to be told you have an obligation to vote. You don't want to be told that you can actually change the world by voting. You want to consume and be bitter about your life.

What all of you don't get is that the rest of the world has to live with that. Your country still has about 8000 nuclear warheads. Live up to your responabilities god dammit.

September 23 2008 at 12:53 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
Henry AYer

who really wants to watch, or more importantly listen to a bunch of ramblings by so called "stars" bad mouth this country and the people that truly care so much about it. These people are not stars they never will be anything like the true stars of "yesterday". John stewart, corbin, and so many more, are a pathetic bunch. And you wonder why the ratings are dropping like the apple on New yrs eve??? look in the mirror ABC, you have created your own down fall. The silent majority is sick of the left wing deadbeats beating up our country. On the same vain these so called democrats would have been shot 25-30 years ago... they are traitors and are enabling our enemies!! A sad state !

September 23 2008 at 9:02 AM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
2 replies to Henry AYer's comment
Judy

I agree with Henry. Why the low ratings? Who wants to listen to America being denigrated for a few hours. Middle America is smart enough not to watch these phonies. It's okay to be phony on the screen, but in real life? No, thanks.

That said, it was a joy to see my favorites: Glenn Close, Mariska Hargitay, Kyra Sedgewick and Dianne Wiest (in absentia). I would include Sally Field, but I vividly remember too well her wild political rantings on other shows.

The day that the awards shows can be counted on to be non-political, is the day the ratings will start to climb.

September 23 2008 at 12:31 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
Kim

Just for your information, you don't have to agree with everything the US Government does in order to love your country. You have confused democracy, which welcomes opposing opinions, with fascism, which demands blind, unquestioning obedience to the state. If you don't want to watch Hollywood-types express their political opinions then just simply tune out. You seem to have absolutely no problem expressing your political opinions in the most obnoxious way possible.

September 23 2008 at 1:44 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
Brent McKee

While the Emmy show was awful - the scripted parts at least - and no one seems to have thought about how to write the damned thing so that they don't end up cutting more and more as the show goes on, you don't think that the fact that the show was up against football on NBC and the last game (maybe) at Yankee Stadium might have been serious competition.

September 23 2008 at 6:39 AM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
segsig

I think it is great that the quality cable shows are being recognized. That shouldn't keep people away from the broadcast. It is the networks that have those god-awful reality hosts. Who didn't know that was going to suck?

September 23 2008 at 5:42 AM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
Jim

My thoughts ...

1. I missed the opening with the reality hosts (thankfully), but what turned me off the most was the constant political posturing by the winners. The only time it seemed appropriate was when Martin Sheen encouraged people to vote -- in a non-biased way.

2. Speaking of the reality hosts ... why do they give an award to them? The judges are the best reason to watch those shows -- not the hosts, e.g. Simon Cowell deserves a nomination more than Ryan Seacrest.

3. Ryan (post No. 2) can go suck an egg. This is the first year I can think of when the awards were totally warranted, across the board. 30 Rock, Mad Men, Damages and Breaking Bad were the best shows on TV last year. (The most questionable award was Jean Smart's.)

4. Deb (post No. 5) is right on the money. Another example of sexism was Craig Feguson's bit with Brooke Shields. I'm a big fan of Craig's, but that bit made me uncomfortable.

Generally speaking, the award shows are over-written. Just give us the red carpet, the awards, some good acceptance speeches -- and cut all the awkward banter.

That's my two cents ...

September 22 2008 at 11:26 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
3 replies to Jim's comment
miller980

I get enough of celebrity blowhards spewing their unwanted political views throughout the year. I don't need to set aside time to consciously listen to it.

September 22 2008 at 11:25 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
Carissa

I loved all the shows and nominees (sans John Adams, I just couldn't get into it, even being a history buff). I've also watched shows where I couldn't stand the nominees, but the show was still great. The horrific hosts ruined the show.

Reality hosts really do nothing. Not on the shows they host, nor the Emmys, when put up to the task. In a way I feel vindicated that I don't watch them. However, not if the price is that people blame the shitty ratings on the shows that were nominated. Its just not true.

That the awful hosts babbled so much they had to cut celeb's "bits" could have been enough in itself to ruin the presentation. We'll never know, because bad hosting left them undone. The Gervais/Carrell bit was great; what if they had all been that well conceived, and we just didn't get to see them because the hosts sucked?

Next year, I vote Ellen D. as the hostest with the mostest.

September 22 2008 at 11:05 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
1 reply to Carissa's comment
Carissa

aaarggghhh....puter hiccup. I'm sorry.

September 22 2008 at 11:06 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
Carissa

I loved all the shows and nominees (sans John Adams, I just couldn't get into it, even being a history buff). I've also watched shows where I couldn't stand the nominees, but the show was still great. The horrific hosts ruined the show.

Reality hosts really do nothing. Not on the shows they host, nor the Emmys, when put up to the task. In a way I feel vindicated that I don't watch them. However, not if the price is that people blame the shitty ratings on the shows that were nominated. Its just not true.

That the awful hosts babbled so much they had to cut celeb's "bits" could have been enough in itself to ruin the presentation. We'll never know, because bad hosting left them undone. The Gervais/Carrell bit was great; what if they had all been that well conceived, and we just didn't get to see them because the hosts sucked?

Next year, I vote Ellen D. as the hostest with the mostest.

September 22 2008 at 11:04 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
1 reply to Carissa's comment
StillBash

It's so ironic that the reality TV hosts chose "nothing" as their theme for the evening, and then blew that into a ten minute opener.

They maybe thought they'd be cheeky with that. What they didn't get is that on an award show where quality is awarded with prizes, rubbing the audiences noses into the fact that reality tv equals NON-quality isn't cheeky, it's an affront. It's a joke.

But what can you expect? All reality TV shows seem to ignore the fact that there are acutally people out there with more than half a brain and why do we expect them to now pretend there are? They are ignorant and that's what you get for inviting them to Mensa. Barnyard idiots running around pretending they know it all.

September 23 2008 at 12:43 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

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