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Sean Daly, Michelle Stark and Sharon Kennedy Wynne

Emmy Nominations: Why Do We Care?

For TV/media critics, it is almost a job requirement that you complain about the Emmy nominations when they arrive. Our interest is simple: it's an easy column fueled by the kind of watercooler armchair theorizing that we all love to indulge to break up the day (of course, only the critics get PAID to indulge such speculation).

So I'm not going to waste much time wringing my hands over how things turned out this year. I wonder something more basic: Do viewers care, anymore?

Of course, the TV industry cares, because such awards help sell TV shows to advertisers, soothe the outsize insecurities of huge stars and make for swell bragging rights. But I wonder if viewers care whether the Desperate Housewives cast got shut out of major categories (but major-league fifth-wheel Alfre Woodard gets a nomination? What's up with that?), that MADtv got more nominations than Saturday Night Live, the two dad and son teams Sheen (Martin and Charlie) and Sutherland (Kiefer and Donald) both racked up nominations and even Pam Anderson's God-awful Stacked earned a nomination?

What I noticed -- besides that fact that TV comedy is so devolved that even Charlie Sheen got a nod this year -- is that many series nominated in major categories won't even be on the air when the ceremony is broadcast.

Six Feet Under, West Wing, Malcolm in the Middle, Arrested Development, Will and Grace -- all these shows notched their final episodes this year (or last!) and won't be around to hog up
the good tables next year. Which means Emmy might finally start paying attention where it counts: non-premium cable.


The Closer, Battlestar Galactica, Rescue Me, Hustle, The 4400 -- all these shows have featured performances beyond their lead actors which deserve some attention. When it comes to reality shows, forget about The Amazing Race- - where's the love for Flavor of Love, Celebrity Fit Club, Dirty Jobs, Small People/Big World and Shalom in the Home?

And where the hell is Dave Chappelle -- the guy whose show was so funny, fans are tuning in to watch a year after he quit? (at least Woodard got double recognition; both for Housewives and the CBS movie The Water is Wide)

Okay, maybe I have spent some time complaining about overlooked shows (let's not forget a category which sorely needs representation -- best TV show made solely for digital distribution).

But at a time when digital media is turning the TV world upside down, Mother Emmy still seems locked in a universe where only the network and premium cable really counts
-- which is a backward-looking stance, indeed.

[Last modified: Wednesday, July 21, 2010 2:36pm]

    

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