I am probably like you in that - I hardly ever watch the Emmy Awards. And why is that? Well, for starters there was a run of 20 years where the exact same network shows won year after year. And if it wasn’t the exact same show it was, well, kind of the same type of show. Hill Street Blues, LA Law, NYPD Blue, The Practice, West Wing, the Sopranos. Seriously, that was like - 20 years! The same shows.
And what about those same 20 years in comedy? Well - Cheers, Murphy Brown and Frasier basically dominated from 83-98. Fifteen years and three shows pretty much won year after year.
And that gets pretty dull.
Don’t get me wrong. The morning after the Emmy’s I would always check in to see who won. But I don’t think I saw the show once between maybe 1988 and 2005. Or maybe I saw it once, or twice. But not often.
And that seems to be par for the course for most Americans. Now, keep in mind that the Emmy awards never kept track of viewers until 1990 and for about a decade viewership remained consistently within the 15-20 million range; however, ever since Ryan Seacrest took over the Emmy awards in 2007 (where The Sopranos and 30 Rock won top honors) the Emmys have struggled to get more than 12 million viewers.
There was one highlight in 2013 where show host Neil Patrick Harris brought in almost 18 million viewers (I watched that one!) but for the most part viewership has been declining for the past decade.
This seems odd to me. Once the “Golden Age of Television” began, about - ten years ago, I assumed that a wider variety of nominated shows would bring in a wider audience. For those not in the know, the “Golden Age of Television” has kind of universally been known as the rise of the cable programing and the decline of network TV all within the past decade.
Basically, all it suggests is that extremely high quality, high concept, original and sophisticated TV is universally found on cable stations these days, with the networks picking up a rare gem but usually floundering in the dark with dead fish, after dead fish.
Again, I assumed that a wider net cast by the Emmys would pull in a bigger catch. But, I was wrong. (And enough with the fish metaphors).
The most Emmy nominations by network for 2018 (2017 was similar with Netflix and HBO swapping places):
Wow. So Netflix received almost as many nominations as all three major networks combined. Of course, with the amount of original content that Netflix pumps out, I guess I am not surprised (I confess I get a little overwhelmed when decided what to watch on Netflix). But still. How long are the networks going to broadcast the Emmy awards when the prime time networks hardly win any Emmys?
In the past ten years, all the best drama winners have been from cable stations (mainly AMC and HBO). Best variety show has been a cable show since 2003 (Comedy Central has dominated this category until HBO took over very recently). Admittedly, 6 of the past 10 comedy winners were from the networks but that was because Modern Family won for 5 years in a row until Veep (HBO) took over for three years. Glancing over all acting categories I would say there is a pretty even mix of network to cable stations winning.
So, yes, there is a network that wins here there and everywhere but those number dwindle as the years pass. One doesn’t need to be a rocket scientist to see where this is heading.
Anyway, it has been reported everywhere that this year was the lowest rated Emmy awards ever. I don’t know why. Perhaps audiences have grown tired of the same old cable shows winning again and again. And I guess I can’t blame them. It’s the very same reason I stopped watching in the first place.
Also, it should be noted. I didn’t watch the Emmy awards this year, either. But the morning after I looked over the winners and I did watch the opening monologue, which I thought that was pretty good. So I attached it.
And for those that are interested in such things, here is a list of all the nominations and winners:
Louie Anderson," Baskets"
Alec Baldwin, "Saturday Night Live"
Tituss Burgess, "Unbreakable Kimmy Schmidt"
Brian Tyree Henry, "Atlanta"
Tony Shalhoub, "The Marvelous Mrs. Maisel"
Kenan Thompson, "Saturday Night Live"
Henry Winkler, "Barry" *WINNER
Zazie Beetz, "Atlanta"
Alex Borstein, "The Marvelous Mrs. Maisel" *WINNER
Aidy Bryant, "Saturday Night Live"
Betty Gilpin, "GLOW"
Leslie Jones, "Saturday Night Live"
Kate McKinnon, "Saturday Night Live"
Laurie Metcalf, "Roseanne"
Megan Mullally, "Will & Grace"
Antonio Banderas, "Genius: Picasso"
Darren Criss, "The Assassination of Gianni Versace: American Crime Story" *WINNER
Benedict Cumberbatch, "Patrick Melrose"
Jeff Daniels, "The Looming Tower"
John Legend, "Jesus Christ Superstar Live in Concert"
Jesse Plemons, "USS Callister (Black Mirror)"
Jessica Biel, "The Sinner"
Laura Dern, "The Tale"
Michelle Dockery, "Godless"
Edie Falco, "Law & Order True Crime: The Menendez Murders"
Regina King, "Seven Seconds" *WINNER
Sarah Paulson, "American Horror Story: Cult"
Anthony Anderson, "Black-ish"
Ted Danson, "The Good Place"
Larry David, "Curb Your Enthusiasm"
Donald Glover, "Atlanta"
Bill Hader, "Barry" *WINNER
William H. Macy, "Shameless"
Pamela Adlon, "Better Things"
Rachel Brosnahan, "The Marvelous Mrs. Maisel" *WINNER
Allison Janney, "Mom"
Issa Rae, "Insecure"
Tracee Ellis Ross, "Black-ish"
Lily Tomlin, "Grace and Frankie"
Sara Bareilles, "Jesus Christ Superstar Live In Concert"
Penelope Cruz, "The Assassination of Gianni Versace: American Crime Story"
Judith Light, "The Assassination of Gianni Versace: American Crime Story"
Adina Porter, "American Horror Story: Cult"
Merritt Wever, "Godless" *WINNER
Letitia Wright,"Black Mirror (Black Museum)"
Jeff Daniels, "Godless" *WINNER
Brandon Victor Dixon,"Jesus Christ Superstar Live in Concert"
John Leguizamo, "Waco"
Ricky Martin, "The Assassination of Gianni Versace: American Crime Story"
Edgar Ramirez, "The Assassination of Gianni Versace: American Crime Story"
Michael Stuhlbarg, "The Looming Tower"
Finn Wittrock, "The Assassination of Gianni Versace: American Crime Story"
Jason Bateman, "Ozark"
Sterling K. Brown, "This Is Us"
Ed Harris, "Westworld"
Matthew Rhys, "The Americans" *WINNER
Milo Ventimiglia, "This Is Us"
Jeffrey Wright, "Westworld"
Claire Foy, "The Crown" *WINNER
Tatiana Maslany, "Orphan Black"
Elisabeth Moss, "The Handmaid's Tale"
Sandra Oh, "Killing Eve"
Keri Russell, "The Americans"
Evan Rachel Wood, "Westworld"
Nikolaj Coster-Waldau, "Game of Thrones"
Peter Dinklage, "Game of Thrones" *WINNER
Joseph Fiennes, "The Handmaid's Tale"
David Harbour, "Stranger Things"
Mandy Patinkin, "Homeland"
Matt Smith, "The Crown"
Alexis Bledel, "The Handmaid's Tale"
Millie Bobby Brown, "Stranger Things"
Ann Dowd, "The Handmaid's Tale"
Lena Headey,"Game of Thrones"
Vanessa Kirby, "The Crown"
Thandie Newton, "Westworld" *WINNER
Yvonne Strahovski, "The Handmaid's Tale"
"The Amazing Race"
"American Ninja Warrior"
"RuPaul's Drag Race" *WINNER
"At Home with Amy Sedaris"
"I Love You, America"
"Saturday Night Live" *WINNER
"Tracey Ullman's Show"
"Full Frontal with Samantha Bee"
"Jimmy Kimmel Live!"
"Last Week Tonight with John Oliver" *WINNER
"The Daily Show with Trevor Noah"
"The Late Late Show with James Corden"
"The Late Show with Stephen Colbert"
"The Assassination of Gianni Versace: American Crime Story" *WINNER
"Curb Your Enthusiasm"
"The Marvelous Mrs. Maisel" *WINNER
"Unbreakable Kimmy Schmidt"
"Game of Thrones" *WINNER
"The Handmaid's Tale"
"This Is Us"