Monday, August 31, 2009

Emmys: Triumph (?) of the blogosphere?

The Daytime Emmys aired last night. This was an unusual year. The major broadcast networks didn't want to air the show, so a production firm (ATI) cobbled together a deal that used an "available" night owned by MGM on the CW (which is owned by CBS). The show was shipped to smaller venue (The Orpheum in Los Angeles).

Production wise, others with more inside knowledge have far more knowledgeable stuff to say than I. I will say I personally thought the show elevated the game over previous years, without screeching fans who drowned out the actors, and comedians dashing through banquet-style dinner tables screeching about the show. The CW broadcast was carefully constructed to promote CW fall shows (which should appeal to soap fans).

The only weakness of the show was that too much time was allocated to early awards, and Vanessa Williams (beautiful, talented) got one song too many to sing (to promote her forthcoming album)...and this led to a tribute for 72-year old Guiding Light be cut off, omitted 10-second clip packages for the final (big) awards, and the best show winner not having time for a speech.

Errol at Soap Opera Network (via Twitter) has said that, on this little network, smaller viewership numbers are expected. He has also said that if the show didn't pull in 2 million viewers, it may be toast in the future.
SoapOperaNetwrk@MarkHsoap If the show can pull in more than 2 million viewers at best, there is some hope. If not, it's done on broadcast.
(As I type this, Errol tweets:

Emmy Ratings: Telecast pulls in 2.4 HH Rating with approximately 3 million viewiers! Highest Ratings on The CW in many months!)
But my main point is that, more fully than ever before, this broadcast showed that the BLOGOSPHERE has emerged as the "journalists of record" at the Daytime Emmys.


1. On the CW pre-show, "expert panelists" handicapped the awards. Two of the three panelists (Jamey Giddens of; Nelson Branco of have mostly on-line followings. Only SOD's Stephanie Sloane was the lone print refugee. (Did anyone think she lost some credibility by arguing that Peter Reckell and Days of our Lives should win, when her Days-love was roundly criticized last summer?)

2. Several online sites provided real-time live-blogging and live twittering, including DaytimeConfidential, Soap Opera Network, Soap Opera Source, and Daytime Royalty.

3. The pre-show has been well supplemented by CBS pre-show interviews that are more detailed and more informative.

4. NaVell Lee, Roger Newcomb, Damon Jacobs and Jamey Giddens all converged as a visible force at the awards. They are providing/will provide more of a real-time report; by the time SOD/SOW get the news out, it will be "old"

5. Twittering stars provided real-time "you are there" perspectives. Michael Muhney wins top prize for showing his co-stars in the Orpheum seats, but Christian Leblanc wins "artistic merit" for showing the red carpet from an actor's POV!

Is there really any relevance left for the print press in this situation?

It's hard to know what this all means? Does it mean that (like many niche genres) "buzz" for soaps has now really left mainstream press, and moved to the blogosphere? And that a movement to the media-of-the-future bodes well for the future of the genre?

Or is it that, in the last gasp of a dying industry, "free" media is the only one that will still cover the industry?

As a soap fan whose love of daytime is DNA-coded, I hope it is the former!

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