Two years ago, the Primetime Emmy Awards were in serious trouble. Ratings for the awards show were the lowest ever. The show has redeemed itself since then.
After Neil Patrick Harris tore up the stage last year, Jimmy Fallon seemed like a smart choice to host the program that celebrates the best in television. He largely delivered, performing smart parodies such as his salute to programs that went off the air, including Lost, 24, and Law and Order. There were some oddities, however, like awarding an Emmy to the Tony Awards show, which bombed in the ratings.
Critically acclaimed but poorly rated shows, such as the legal drama Damages, got shafted by Emmy viewers. Kyra Sedgwick of The Closer edged out Damages star Glenn Close (who had previously won) and Julianna Margulies of CBS' (CBS) The Good Wife, who was seen as the front-runner.
Conan O'Brien may have earned sympathetic press for getting pushed off General Electric Co.'s (GE) NBC, but that didn't sway voters of the Academy of Television Arts and Sciences who awarded the Emmy for Best Variety, Music or Comedy Series to The Daily Show With Jon Stewart. As the Wall Street Journal noted, "Emmy voters did not allow the ousted Tonight Show host to win and avenge NBC in a speech on an award show airing on NBC. Who would have guessed?"
Lost, whose series finale was seen by 20.5 million people earlier this year, failed to win a single Emmy in the drama category. How soon Hollywood forgets. Then again, maybe voters were annoyed that the island turned out to be purgatory. Lost has won a boatload of awards in previous years. Most viewers -- myself included -- enjoyed the ride.
Emmy voters continued to lavish praise on Breaking Bad; Bryan Cranston won the award for Best Drama Actor the third year in a row. Ratings for Damages were so dismal on Fox's (NWS) FX network that many fans figured it was a goner. Turns out they were wrong: DirecTV (DTV) agreed to rescue the show for two more seasons.
Like all awards shows, the Emmys take too long and are filled with too much Hollywood back-slapping. Do we really need to hear George Clooney opine on the state of the world yet again? How many times do we have to hear people thanking the same people for the same things?
It's all a little too much, but then again, so is Hollywood.
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