Why Are My Choices Never the People's Choices Anymore?
But I looked at the list of nominees distributed by CBS today, and was struck by the three shows nominated for Best TV Drama: House, Law & Order: Special Victims Unit and CSI.
If you've been reading the blog this week, you'll know that those are three shows I listed as Programs Which Play Like the Writers are Already on Strike -- prime examples of how popular TV shows are failing audiences creatively.
That might not have been a surprise -- since when have critical tastes often intersected with popular favorites? -- except that it was. Because, when I started covering TV 10 years ago, what critics liked and what the public liked were in lockstep.
Indeed, when people used to ask me what were the best shows on TV, I would just get out a list of Nielsen's highest-rated programs. Among the most-viewed shows of the 1997-98 TV season, ER, Seinfeld, Friends, Frasier, 60 Minutes and Monday Night Football all appear. Last season's Top Ten included two editions of American Idol, THREE editions of Dancing with the Stars, CSI and House.
So what's happened? I know three things: cable has taken a lot of quality dramas which might have otherwise landed on network, the rise of reality TV has created highly-rated, critically questionable series and network TV hasn't been able to field a quality sitcom since Everybody Loves Raymond went off the air (Ugly Betty and Desperate Housewives don't count).
What do you think? While you ponder, click below for the whole list of People's Choice Awards nominees.
"Law and Order: SVU"
FAVORITE TV COMEDY
"The King of Queens"
"My Name is Earl"
"Two and a Half Men"
"King of the Hill"
FAVORITE SCI-FI SHOW
"Dancing with the Stars"
"Extreme Makeover: Home Edition"
FAVORITE GAME SHOW
"Are You Smarter Than a 5th Grader?"
"Deal or No Deal"
FAVORITE FEMALE TV STAR
Jennifer Love Hewitt
FAVORITE SCENE STEALING STAR
Richard Belzer from "Law & Order: SVU"
Neil Patrick Harris from "How I Met Your Mother"
Chandra Wilson from "Grey's Anatomy"
FAVORITE FUNNY MALE STAR
FAVORITE TALK SHOW HOST
"Aliens in America"
"Back to You"
"The Big Bang Theory"
FAVORITE NEW TV DRAMA
"Dirty Sexy Money"
"Life Is Wild"
"Women's Murder Club"