Ratings decline may require Oscars to get jiggy before things go wack

image As you’ve probably noticed, we have entered the annual “awards show” season, which officially began with the Golden Globe Awards, and is due to wrap up some time in April, when David Hasselhoff hosts the coveted Intoxicated Karaoke Performance Awards live from Tijuana, Mexico.

Every year, I watch at least some of these awards shows because, as a columnist, it’s important for me to keep up with cultural trends. I also watch because seeing Nicki Minaj always makes me feel better about the way I dress. However, according to a recent poll, ratings for awards shows have actually dropped. So much so that programming executives are calling it “an alarming trend.”

Personally, I think the word “alarming” is a little strong.

Coolant levels steadily leaking from a nuclear reactor — THAT’S alarming; a decline in the number of people tuning in to see how long it takes for a fight to break out at the Rapp Awards is actually pretty encouraging. The obvious reason ratings are down is because the number of awards shows is up. The entertainment industry must ask itself if it really needs The Golden Globes, The Oscars and The Peoples’ Choice Awards in order to single out Hollywood’s finest when they could just as easily save time and money by combining all three into, say…

The Peoples’ Globes Awards.

Okay, bad example (Although, it does sound like something that’s probably available on cable.)

The monumental length of these shows is another problem. When a person can receive “Best New Talent” and the “Lifetime Achievement” award during the same broadcast, I say it’s too long. I’ll go even further and say that we could actually learn a few things from the Rapp Awards when it comes to cutting the length of these programs — especially when you consider last year’s Rapp Awards lasted only 11 minutes (five of which showed nothing but an overturned buffet table moving toward the exit under gunfire.)

After approaching several top programming executives about my idea, I was, of course, immediately wrestled to the ground. This led me to organize a brainstorming session with Rapp producers Bigg-E-Mac, Mac Daddy, and Dubl-Bigg-Mac-Combo—with the main goal being to come up with a comprehensive list of ideas aimed at shortening the Oscars.

And the secondary goal being for me to acquire a really cool “aka,” which I was given almost immediately:


What follows is a three-step process that could potentially save the Oscars by making them shorter, more exciting, and, quite possibly, a little more “jiggy.”

Step one: Get rid of the red carpet arrival and limit each celebrity to one drive-by. Non-celebrities would also be allowed a drive-by, but only in groups of eight or more, and only from the back of a Lincoln Continental assigned before the show.

Step two: Upon arrival, each celebrity will be issued a posse which, in turn, will spend most of the evening glaring at another posse. This will no doubt speed things up as celebrities, sensing a rising tension between rival posses, cut their acceptance speeches in order to leave before things get “wack.”

And finally,

Step three: Move the Oscars from the Dolby Theater in Hollywood to an abandoned warehouse in Culver City. There are a couple of reasons for this. First, there’s the obvious cost savings. Why rent a theater when, with a little planning and a phone tree, everyone could just arrive and take over an empty warehouse just long enough to hand out the awards? This would also add a dramatic element to the show as it tries to finish up before the police arrive.

And there you have it, a simple, three-step solution to save the Oscars, compliments of me and my homies.

Now if I could just find my posse…


imageWARNING! This has been a shameless excerpt from my book, Humor at the Speed of Life, which is a collection of my most popular columns over the years (as opposed to the kind I usually write) and is available in hardcopy or eBook version at Port Hole Publications, Amazon.com or Barnes & Noble. It makes a great holiday gift! (Note: results may vary). Order yours from Port Hole Publications and let them know you’d like a signed copy. It can even be signed by someone else!

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Ned's Blog

I was a journalist, humor columnist, writer and editor at Siuslaw News for 23 years. The next chapter in my own writer’s journey is helping other writers prepare their manuscript for the road ahead. I'm married to the perfect woman, have four great kids, and a tenuous grip on my sanity...

29 thoughts on “Ratings decline may require Oscars to get jiggy before things go wack”

  1. Who would not want to watch wickity wickity wack posse glaring? I’m down, fo shizzle. Clearly I am also 2 Wite up in here. I never missed any of these award shows in my youth, and with only four channels (Fox not existing yet), I could rest assured that everyone at school had seen Michael take both Brooke and Webster/Emmanuel to the Grammy Awards. Oh, how we took water cooler banter for granted when it was a given that we all saw the same thing! BTW, I don’t think what Niki wears can be referred to as clothing. It barely covers her lovely lady lumps.

    1. Yo yo, girl! I’m down wit dat and…uh, word up an’ sheeeeeit.

      And yeah, the cultural collective experience is pretty much now reserved for the Super Bowl haltime show. Mostly because everyone is waiting for Niki to have a wardrobe malfunction.

    1. Hi Beth!
      Completely random butt-in here, but I had to comment. My best friend’s mom’s name is Germaine. So, our ‘peace out” via text message always ends with “Word to Germaine.”
      Okay. Sorry about the outburst. Are we still friends?

  2. Having lived down in the L.A. area for 17 years, and my dad selling to the studios… I think some of the inflated heads need to be popped. Of course then the rush of hot-air could create a tornado… Hmmm maybe they would all be swept away like Dorothy to Oz.

  3. I don’t actually watch awards shows. I find them a bit too self – pleasuring on the part of the actors – it leaves me squeemish (it’s been a long while since I felt the need to use that word). But i really do like your ideas for making the awards shows more tolerable – especially the part where they go off into some abandoned warehouse where no one can find them and I no longer have to put up with “Did you see the Oscars last night?” I could then reply “Would have loved to but who can find that abandonded warehouse?” And then they would nod knowingly and the conversation would end, instead of them deciding that since I wasn’t privileged enough that they feel obliged to give me play by play.

    So please give your spiel to the powers that control such things Ned. And feel free to use my name – they used to call me Dbl-1/8-of-a-ton-with-cheez-combo (partly because I weigh 250 pounds and parly out of enormous respect – I think). It will get you immediate attention.

    1. I’m glad you like my ideas, Paul. I will contact someone in charge and let them know you are part of my posse, which — between the two of us — should at least get us in to see the janitor.

      1. Good idea – I know a lot of janitors and probably, at one point or another delivered something to him or his workplace. I always ran a janitor-friendly business.

  4. Well, these award shows were originally conceived to draw more attention to the movies, television shows, and celebrities up for the awards, right? Maybe to draw more attention to the award shows they should have an award for Best Award Show. Then they could have a Best Award Show show where they would play clips from the various award shows and finally crown the winner.

    1. Two fingers on one hand, then three fingers in a “w” sign on another hand, then two fingers on another hand.

      Yeah, it requires a third hand from someone in my posse.

No one is watching, I swear...

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