March 23, 2003


WATCHING THE OSCARS?: I'm not. (I am following the online updates while I do other things.) A year ago, I was quite interested in what was happening at the Oscars; one of the last posts on my old blog was this one:

OSCAR'S FUTURE: Recently there's been a proliferation of award shows, with the mainstreaming of the Golden Globes, the debut of the AFI awards, the new attention given to various festivals and critics awards. The Oscars are becoming even more than ever driven by the politics of Hollywood, rather than the quality of filmmaking. With other award shows to fill the credibility gap and secede King Oscar as the premier award show, predictions about the Oscars may soon be focused not on who will win, but who will care.

This may take a while. Oscar's pedigree will be hard to break-- it's the grandaddy and the gold standard. Think of Wall Street Week, which in its traditional form is now on the way out. When it started, it was the only place on television where analysts talked about their stock picks. Now, you can hardly avoid the talking-head bulls and bears. It took a long time for WSW to realize that it was obsolete, but it happened eventually. It might happen to Oscar, too-- especially if they can't pick up the pace of the ceremony a bit.

It now seems likely that, if viewership is indeed down, it will be because of the war (and perhaps some backlash against those who would clap for Michael Moore). This would, of course, have nothing to do with my thesis about there being a better pick of award shows-- did they even show the AFI awards this year?-- but it'll still be interesting to see the ratings.

Posted by John Tabin at March 23, 2003 11:45 PM