After years of explaining away declining ratings, awards shows are now starting to suffer the consequences.
Last week’s news that both the SAG & Independent Spirit awards are looking, apparently without success, for new TV homes came as a surprise but wasn’t surprising. Neither show was generating the kind of ratings that would win a renewal.
TNT was SAG’s TV home for the last 24 years. This February, after having pre-taped during the worst of the pandemic, the high-profile two-hour program aired live with lots of famous faces that are SAG members.
SAG’s best movie cast award, its equivalent of the best picture, went to CODA, which later won the best picture, Oscar. The telecast on TNT & TBS, however, averaged only 1.8M viewers. That was up from 2021’s 957,000 viewers, but it didn’t make Warner Bros. Discovery eager to keep airing the program. The SAG noms will be announced on 1/11 and the awards bestowed on 2/26.
The lower profile Spirits show aired on AMC Networks’ IFC channel & streamed on AMC+. Apparently, viewership was sufficiently low to sink its 2023 telecast. The Spirits’ film noms were announced on 11/22 and winners will be revealed on 3/4.
This makes the HFPA’s embattled Golden Globes one of the few surviving awards telecasts — airing Tuesday, 1/10 on NBC. As of now, there’s no real buzz about the 80th Globes, which announces noms on 12/12 but hasn’t yet set a host. As for the Academy, it recently made a good move by hiring Jimmy Kimmel to host the 95th Oscars, which will air Sunday, 3/12 on ABC.