TV Ratings: 2015 Emmys Fall to All-Time Low 11.9 Million Viewers Against NFL

21 Sep 2015 | Author: | No comments yet »

Amazon wins battle of the streaming services over Netflix at the Emmys.

It was a big night for ‘Game of Thrones’ at the 67th Annual Emmy Awards, where HBO’s fantasy hit picked up the highest honor of Outstanding Drama Series.Jill Soloway became the third woman to take home an Emmy for directing for a comedy series for her work on “Transparent,” joining Betty Thomas for “Dream On” and Gail Mancuso for “Modern Family.” The accomplishment is not one that Soloway takes lightly, as evidenced by both her acceptance speech and comments made in the press room after receiving her award.This year, Amazon AMZN 0.47% topped the award tally of its streaming rival by taking home five Emmy statues despite having roughly one-third of the number of nominations Netflix NFLX -2.08% did.

With a total of 12 Emmys, including Outstanding Writing, Outstanding Directing and Outstanding Supporting Actor, Thrones broke a major record by surpassing ‘The West Wing’, taking home more wins in a single year than any other show. Netflix won four Emmys last night after being nominated for 34 awards, while Amazon only received a dozen nominations, but still walked away the biggest winner among the streaming services. Political satire ‘Veep’, also from HBO, picked up four awards including Best Comedy Series and Best Actress for Julia Louis-Dreyfus, her fourth consecutive win.

The series’ creator Armando Iannucci accepted the award on behalf of the show: “If Veep is about one thing it’s about hope, the hope that anyone in America no matter what their background, their race, their creed, anyone if they work hard can just miss out at getting the top job,” he joked. ‘Veep’ has long been an industry favourite but was seen as a dark horse for the top series win. With Viola Davis, Regina King and Uzo Aduba all winning, the most acting victories by African American women since 1991, progress may be en route, though slowly. Amazon’s other three awards — all from “Transparent,” including a win for guest actor Bradley Whitford — had been handed out a week earlier at the Primetime Creative Arts Emmys.

Why are the categories so random? (As host Andy Samberg said, “Orange Is the New Black is now officially a drama and Louie is officially jazz.”) Why didn’t Broad City get nominated? Its victory breaks the stranglehold of sitcom powerhouse ‘Modern Family’, which had won the top Emmy for the past five years. “Let me tell you something,” she said in a moving acceptance speech, “the only thing that separates women of colour from anyone else is opportunity.” In ‘How to Get Away With Murder’, Davis stars as a law professor at a prestigious Philadelphia university who becomes entwined in a murder plot with five of her students. Jon Hamm finally broke his infamous losing streak, picking up the Outstanding Actor in a Drama Series gong for his performance as the emotionally hollow advertising executive in the concluding stretch of ‘Mad Men’. The Emmy runner-up to HBO was NBC CMCSA 0.51% , which won 12 statues — the same number taken home by the HBO’s “Game of Thrones,” which won for best drama series and set a record for the most Emmys awarded to any series in one year. The network’s standalone streaming service, HBO Now, is helping to blur the line between traditional network television and streaming online content at a time when streaming services such as Amazon and Netflix are aiming to hear their shows’ names called out on Emmy night more and more every year.

Why did Jeffrey Tambor have to give another speech thanking all his “new BFFs” at Amazon, the same new BFFs he thanked at the Golden Globes last winter? Were you still having trouble making up your mind about Jon Hamm’s greatness after the scene where he sits on the stairs in an empty house to Dylan’s “Don’t Think Twice It’s All Right,” as the carousel time-machine in his brain reveals he’s completely missed out on his life? Meanwhile, scoot over here and give me some sugar, Guy Who Starred on The Newsroom!” Why did Game of Thrones finally get lavishly rewarded for a stumble-bum season that demanded a lead thumb on the fast forward? Television just plain didn’t get any better this year!” Why the mind-bogglingly moronic salute to 2015’s series finales, a loop of one spoiler after another?

It might have been the most flat-out bizarre moment on network TV all year — the broadcast networks sending a chorus of fuck-yous to all the cable dramas people watch instead of Fox. Did nobody in the creative chain of command dare to suggest, “Hey, wait, what if some slowpokes out there haven’t caught up with the end of Nurse Jackie yet? Maybe it’d look kinda bush league to ruin the endings of Boardwalk Empire or Justified or Sons of Anarchy just out of spite?” “Nah — if those cable-clicking nimrods want surprises, let ’em check out the new John Stamos sitcom Grandfathered, premiering this month on Fox! Andy Samberg did his damnedest to perk things up with his opening musical bit “I’ve Watched Every Show,” mocking the Glut TV panic that has created an epidemic of TV-related social anxiety through our culture.

Everyone who watched last year’s Emmys and asked “There’s a sitcom called Mom?” got to ask “Wait, there’s another sitcom called Mom, or maybe the same one is still hanging around? Speaking of math, it’s also bullshit we have to wait four more days for the Empire premiere and our next Cookie fix. (As Cookie would say, I call it torture!) Tracy Morgan made an emotional return, discussing his recovery from his near-fatal car crash. The biggest audience enthusiasm was for Mel Brooks, who appeared at the end to give a laurel and hearty handshake to Veep, a well-deserved winner of multiple awards (including Best Comedy) for a killer season. That meant we got to see Julia Louis Dreyfus take an onstage selfie with Mel Brooks — if only she could have begun her speech with the words, “Excuse me while I whip this out.” JLD also won the prize for best award-show pronunciation of the word “mind-blowing,” after Terrence Howard won it at the Oscars.

Ray Parker Jr. led the band — alas, they didn’t play “The Other Woman” or “A Woman Needs Love.” The Voice won the Best Reality prize — I always enjoy seeing Carson Daly win things. The In Memoriam reel had a host of beloved faces — Dick Van Patten (so great as Friar Tuck in Mel Brooks’ Robin Hood satire When Things Were Rotten). King (so cool on Sanford and Son) Jan Hooks as Hillary Clinton, Leonard Nimoy saying “Live long and prosper.” But the unexpected emotional highlight was James Best, a.k.a Sheriff Roscoe P. Coltrane from The Dukes of Hazzard, driving off to join Waylon Jennings, Sorrell Booke and Denver Pyle at the Boar’s Nest in the sky. 10-7 and goodnight, Sheriff Roscoe. 2015 may not bring everything that Back to the Future II promised it would: flying cars, self-lacing shoes, we don’t see ’em happening over the next 12 months. (Then again, don’t bet against Nike.) But this year will definitely pack plenty of punch when it comes to cultural happenings. Mad Max will roar back out of the apocalypse while Mad Men rides off into the sunset, rock’s Antichrist Superstar and hip-hop’s Yeezus will rise again.

The human mind isn’t meant to create narrative out of 22 people colliding on every down, then instantly switching to 22 other people, 400 times without relief. Eastern with analysis for the JV debate, interrupted briefly for CNN’s Blitzerian moments of breaking news (the second debate will have 11 candidates, but this one only has four, so there are only four podiums now, but later there will be 11), then over an hour of debate, then more hiccups of analysis (boss! boss! there’s a plane in the background!), then over three hours of slog. But this is modern politics, unfortunately, and more specifically the Republican Party, which is less a debating society and more a traveling society of ritual incantation. You know what these people believe and what they will say: war, crime, tax cuts, slash social programs, something nice about Jesus, a repeatedly shoehorned anecdote about a great-grandfather who abandoned a life of competitive bog-eating in County Meath to be horsewhipped around a track by one of John D. The only question is in what order this cut-and-paste junk appears, and whether someone knocks over a binder full of women or forgets which federal social services department goes on the Kill List next to the more memorable ayatollahs.

Every single one probably spent the morning frantically going through flash cards, and every one said he or she had played pool, gone hiking, hit the treadmill or just got on a plane. The only real standout from the ritual of arrival and tamping down the hype came when Marco Rubio was shown to his podium, looked at the tape with his name on it and drew a cross beside it. Like CNN teeing up “nah, man, I was benching at the gym all morning” replies when asking if anyone studied, Rubio drew his little in hoc signo vinces to remove any doubts nobody had about his Christian faith, and CNN obligingly reported it. If he’d known that not one of the herd of CNN analysts would have snorted at such a performative display, poor Mike Huckabee might have marked his podium with lamb’s blood to suffer not the destroyer to fuck up the pow-wow.

Lindsey Graham said that his administration would feature a lot more casual drinking with the opposition, then stopped to lecture Jindal on the mathematical reality of which Senate votes are not veto-proof and how they waste everyone’s time. Like a tired dad telling his son that closing his eyes doesn’t make him invisible, Pataki asserted that there is something called the Rule of Law and that the Supreme Court’s gay marriage ruling was a part of that. Barring tons of mad money from his pal Foster Friess, and a miraculous showing in Iowa thanks to shoe leather, you probably witnessed the last of Rick Santorum, unless he decides to embark on some unelected version of a Jacksonian genocide. Like a kung fu movie, each candidate charged Donald Trump black-ninja style and many landed a blow before being knocked out by a Trump jab or his own colossal indifference.

Rand Paul attempted to shame Trump for his ad hominems about other candidate’s appearances before Trump shot back that he’d never gone after Paul’s appearance despite the ample material to work with. Scott Walker tried to get some press by telling Trump that, after Obama, America didn’t need another apprentice in the White House before Trump bodied Walker about his campaign cratering and Wisconsin running deficits. The wording of the deficit claim is mostly false — although Walker’s repeatedly had to make spending cuts and raid different funds to paper over the gaps his tax cuts have generated — but nobody who likes Donald Trump is going to care. Carly Fiorina had the best dig of the night, commenting on Trump’s describing her face as unelectable by saying, “I think women all over this country heard very clearly what Mr. Their mouths formed real words, but after five seconds, all anyone could hear was “Nuh-uh” and “Yah-huh” repeated with a Wabbit Season/Duck Season relentlessness.

Bush also objected to Trump dragging his wife Columba into the immigration debate and — to shield her from further scrutiny, perhaps as a clever Opposite Day gambit — pointed her out in the front row and angrily asked Trump to apologize to her. The last three months were so bad, not even Abraham Lincoln could get elected.” Bush, at this point nearly seething —punching Trump might have given him five points in the polls — said, “There’s one thing I remember. He kept us safe.” Compared to the 310 million citizens in the United States, maybe Bush thinks the 3,000 Americans dead on 9/11, the 1,800 dead in New Orleans and the 4,500 dead in Iraq are a rounding error. Things got weirder in the second hour, as Trump and Fiorina devoured what felt like most of it in going head-to-head trying to prove who had the more disastrous career. Fiorina brought up Trump’s multiple bankruptcies, while Trump brought up Fiorina’s laying off tens of thousands of people at Hewlett Packard, her acrimonious dismissal, her shaky handling of Lucent and, contrary to her earlier bragging about its state, the fact that HP that day announced up to 30,000 more layoffs.

The slapfight went on so unbelievably long that it was almost a mercy when Chris Christie gave voice to an analog of girls! girls! you’re both ugly! by saying, “You’re both successful people. But if a great unkindness of wealthy ravens all demonstrably trying to be unimpressed with each other was weird, the third hour entered into the surreal.

Trump was asked to give his opinion on whether vaccinations cause autism (for fuck’s sakes, they don’t), which led to Ben Carson denying any causal connection, then ultimately agreeing with Trump’s walk-back answer that infants’ intense vaccination schedule may cause problems. He even used Trump’s insult to joke, “He’s an OK doctor.” Somewhere after that, when all the candidates were asked who to put on the $10 bill, Bush replied, “Margaret Thatcher.” All right. Carson showed up as much as he ever does — really effectively, if you happen to like him, or like a sweet-natured older man tottering around in a stocking cap and saying half-liddedly pleasant things if you don’t. Everyone considered Christianity under attack, Iran an existential threat, and Carly Fiorina made up details about the Planned Parenthood videos that never happened. It’s probably impossible to glean all the information presented over a three-hour verbal forced march like this, but then again, most people probably don’t try.

If you’re a Republican voter, you probably go in with one candidate you really like and a couple more you are curious about, then mentally filter for their comments or topics of particular interest to you. If you’re not writing this down, if none of it needs to be used for a future argument, the information gets triaged, the vibrant stuff taken home to be nurtured, the borderline cases treated with care, the terminal ideas shipped down to the tile room in the basement.

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