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)

Recent Headlines

in Entertainment

REVIEW: ‘St. Vincent’ shouldn’t work, but it does

Fresh
This image released by The Weinstein Company shows Bill Murray, left, and Jaeden Lieberher in a scene from the film, "St. Vincent."

St. Vincent should be forgettable, yet it’s one of the more memorable and moving dramedies you’ll see this year.

in Entertainment

Today in entertainment history: Oct. 23

strait

A look at the Hollywood headlines that went down in history.

in Viral Videos

Famous album covers come alive

18-overlay1

No, your eyes aren't tricking you. The album covers in Roy Kafri's new music video ARE singing along.

in Music

Judge refuses to dismiss ‘Blurred Lines’ lawsuit

pharrell

Robin Thicke and Pharrell Williams have failed to convince a judge to dismiss a copyright lawsuit.

in Entertainment

Oprah, Neil Patrick Harris among year’s most ‘fascinating’

FILE - This Sept. 20, 2009 file photo shows host Neil Patrick Harris during the 61st Primetime Emmy Awards in Los Angeles. Harris will host the Emmys again. CBS will air the Emmycast live from Los Angeles on Sept. 22. (AP Photo/Mark J. Terrill, file)

Barbara Walters is back with her annual TV special.

Weather

condition Condition: Moderate rain
Temperature: 48°
High: 52° - Low: 47°