No one cares. Not really. People have been interested in this industry joke since, well … never. It’s just another bloated, overhyped, self-congratulatory, time-suck awards show that, with its cousins Oscar and Grammy, has been hemorrhaging viewers for the past decade.
But the show will go on, this year be damned. Its future right now is murky, but that will clear up before too long and, even if it’s not clear skies ahead, it won’t matter. There’s too much money at stake.
Last year’s Golden Globes telecast on NBC struggled to find 6.9 million viewers — down from more than 18 million the year before — and that had nothing to do with a pared-down show due to the pandemic.
It was, rather, a collective yawn, despite — or maybe in spite of — the hoary myth, embellished over the years, that the generous flow of alcohol served to the stars who show up for this three-hour (or more) pat-on-the-back will translate into “outrageous” behavior.
That rarely happens; the bleeped profanity and the forced “did they just say that?” monologues, manufactured to create “event television” … don’t.
The one Golden Globes flashpoint moment to which everyone refers, time and again (so here we go), was Pia Zadora winning a statuette in 1982 for “Butterfly,” an indie movie co-produced by her then-husband, Wall Street tycoon Meshulam Riklis, which hardly anyone saw and wasn’t released widely until the next month.
That was 40 years ago, people. Perhaps the afterparties tear a page from the playbook of a Roman orgy or “La Dolce Vita,” but they’re not televised. So who cares?
I would like to think that Sunday’s nonevent of a nonevent (the winners will be tweeted out!) will hammer a spike into the heart of NBC, or any other future network on any other platform, to wipe this irrelevance from the airwaves once and for all. But that’s just a pipe dream.
In 2018, NBC signed an eight-year deal with the Hollywood Foreign Press Association and producer Dick Clark Productions to telecast the Globes at a reported $60 million a year. So it won’t let the Globes shuffle off its mortal television coil. Not yet. NBC said so, parenthetically, after cancelling this year’s telecast last May, due to the HFPA’s mess vis-à-vis diversity and other internal – read: sketchy – issues. (For an organization of roughly 90 members, it seems to have twice as many problems.)
“Assuming the organization executes on its plan, we are hopeful we will be in a position to air the show in January 2023,” NBC said in its statement. The network will air the Globes next year, come hell or high water and whatever happens with the HFPA, which insists it’s on the road to remedying its ills. And there’s no reason to doubt them, right?
So 2023 will be back to the future for the Golden Globes, at least in the television universe. I suspect there will be even more of a massive tune-out, despite hosts and presenters going that extra yard to drum up some over-the-top, wild on-air behavior to justify the charade and help NBC avoid the inevitable next historic ratings low. Network execs will publicly wring their hands and industry observers (like me) will blather on about how meaningless and shallow it all is — before it’s all forgotten in a few days and speculation begins anew on who will host the 2024 telecast.