NEW YORK (Hollywood Reporter) - The de-glitzing of the Golden Globes has been a blow to everyone from movie marketers to caterers.
But could it lift award shows that aren’t hit by the Hollywood writers strike?
The Spirit Awards, which honor art-house fare, and the Screen Actors Guild’s SAG Awards could reap the fruits of a Globes downsizing in media attention, TV ratings and advertising revenue. Both have been granted waivers by the Writers Guild of America, whose two-month-old strike has forced the cancellation of the Golden Globe and People’s Choice telecasts. A question mark looms over the Oscars.
The SAG Awards will be broadcast on both TNT and TBS on January 26, and the Spirits on IFC and AMC on February 23, the day before the Academy Awards. And with waivers in hand, both expect the full complement of celebrities that Sunday’s Globes news conference will lack.
Whether the stars’ presence at these shows will draw TV audiences remains to be seen, but if Tuesday’s People’s Choice Awards are an indicator, it’s clear that star-less shows will struggle. In what had to be an ominous development for NBC and the Golden Globes, CBS’ pretaped People’s Choice Awards hit an all-time ratings low, averaging 6 million viewers overall, according to Nielsen data.
The presence of celebrities at the SAG and Spirits shows could keep ratings and viewer interest high, as movie fans with few other places to turn tune in to the show.
Organizers of the SAG Awards are expecting their usual attendance rate of 92%-95% of nominees, spokeswoman Rosalind Jarrett said. The broadcasts will include webcasts and other bells and whistles it implemented last year.
The Spirits are held on the beach in Santa Monica the day before the Oscars, and the smaller ceremony may find itself dependent on the fate of the larger one; if the Oscars are canceled or delayed, the Spirits could find themselves without some of the stars who come in expressly for the Oscars.
The Directors Guild and Writers Guild awards ceremonies won’t be affected by the strike, but neither gets a TV airing.
Some observers caution that viewer apathy could affect all awards shows. The awards season tends to operate on a “buildup” principle, in which attention for each show feeds on those that came before. Without the January jump-starts, some are concerned about a more general neglect. “I just worry that the average person might forget about awards season entirely,” said one film executive.