News

Emmys win bigger audience, leave critics cold

Emmys win bigger audience, leave critics cold

From left, Conan O'Brien and host Neil Patrick Harris speak on stage at the 65th Primetime Emmy Awards at Nokia Theatre on Sunday Sept. 22, 2013, in Los Angeles. Photo: Associated Press/Vince Bucci/Invision for Academy of Television Arts & Sciences

By Eric Kelsey

LOS ANGELES (Reuters) – Even as viewership for Sunday night’s Primetime Emmy Awards telecast on CBS rose for the second consecutive year, critics panned the TV industry’s top honors as a dull showcase that gave its winners and nominees short shrift.

Early audience figures measured by Nielsen totaled 17.6 million viewers, a 33 percent increase from last year’s ceremony, which was broadcast on Disney’s ABC, CBS said on Monday.

But the telecast, which was hosted by popular “How I Met Your Mother” actor Neil Patrick Harris, found a legion of critical detractors saying the program focused too much on tributes to deceased actors and song-and-dance numbers while cutting short winners’ speeches and segments on nominated shows.

“The thing I regretted about it most is that I’ve never seen a show that presented fewer clips from actual TV programs when they needed it more than ever,” TV critic David Bianculli said.

Bianculli, who runs the Tvworthwatching.com website, added that with online-delivered shows like Netflix’s “House of Cards” and premium cable networks like HBO and Showtime garnering several top nominations, fewer people are able to watch Emmy-nominated shows than in the past.

“The audience is more fragmented than ever with shows coming from more sources,” he added. “The Emmys is one time that all viewers are coming under one roof … to not have them (more clips of nominated shows) is not using time wisely.”

Brian Lowry of industry publication Variety bemoaned how little time winners were given to deliver an acceptance speech to make room for tribute segments and planned musical numbers.

“Isn’t the reaction of those performers – joyful, giddy, tearful, self-indulgent, whatever – one of the reasons people tune in, to see stars in unscripted moments?” Lowry wrote.

Actress Claire Danes, who won best drama actress for the second straight year for Showtime’s “Homeland,” and comedian Stephen Colbert, whose Comedy Central fake news show won best variety series, had their speeches noticeably cut short.

“This year’s awards were competent, perhaps, but created scant opportunity for the gods to favor them,” Lowry added.

The Hollywood Reporter’s David Rooney was equally unimpressed, calling the show “wildly hit and miss.”

“This was an Emmy telecast so plodding, lifeless and just plain glum that even the overdue best drama win for ‘Breaking Bad’ failed to provide a lift at the end of the show,” Rooney said.

The telecast’s viewership benefited from an overrun of an NFL football game that led into the show’s 8 p.m. ET time slot, but also might have been helped by the popularity of host Harris and interest in the nominees, Bianculli said.

The Emmys overall placed second on Sunday night to NBC’s “Sunday Night Football” game between the Chicago Bears and Pittsburgh Steelers, which attracted 18.7 million viewers, according to early figures.

(Editing by Mary Milliken and Eric Walsh)

Latest Stories

in Music

10 of the most memorable MTV Video Music Awards moments

mileycyrusvma

Since debuting in 1984, the MTV Video Music Awards have prided themselves on being a stage for all things hip - and often - controversial.

in Entertainment

‘Siri, can you give me a hint?’ Apple confirms September event

16-overlay14

The rumors are true: Apple will host an event Sept. 9 in San Francisco.

in Entertainment

Netflix drug drama ‘Narcos’ blurs line between cartels, agents

11-overlay7

Not all cops are good guys and not all drug suppliers are obvious villains in the dark drug drama "Narcos," a bilingual examination of the history of cocaine smuggling in America and its most menacing supplier.

in Music

VMA Preview: Bieber’s back, Miley hosts

13-overlay12

Designer Jeremy Scott says to expect the unexpected when comes to the fashion and the music at Sunday's MTV Video Music Awards.

in Entertainment

The secret to Rob Lowe’s ageless face

17-overlay12

The 51-year-old actor will star in a new series this fall, "The Grinder," and still looks as good as ever.