Oct 22, 2009

Where has the audience for the Oscars gone?

From Defamer's guide to improving the Oscar telecast:
The reason why the Golden Globes have held their own against the declining Oscars is liquor. The dinner setting of the Globes show has traditionally meant well-lubricated winners making some of the more free-wheeling, demented speeches of awards season. Well, two can play at that game. Mandatory tequila shots and forced picks from the mystery wheel of amphetamines for all attendees.
Host: Jack Nicholson
Producer: Ben Silverman
Ideal Best Picture Winner: Couples Retreat
Opening Number: Stars careen to their seats on a giant Slip ‘n Slide placed down the aisle.
To anyone who lives outside of Los Angeles, annual hand-wringing that goes on over the audiences numbers of the Oscars is bizarre and even a little comic. It's not like it's a sitcom, or an HBO series or anything that requires people to tune in regularly. They are agonising over the demographics of a once-a-year TV program but manage to make it sound as if the fate of Hollywood itself hangs in the balance. More importantly: there's very little they can do about it. The reason everyone watched in 1999 was because Titanic won. The reason kids haven't tuned in since then is that no film like Titanic has come along. It's got nothing to do with the format of the Oscar telecast. Changing the format in the hopes of getting a younger audience is a bit like thinking that a new stamp design will reverse the decline in letter-writing. They are superficially, not causally, related.

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