Posted by Sheila Shayon on August 26, 2010 11:00 AM
What's going on with Hollywood's big award shows? First comes word that the Oscars may be moving to Monday nights after being tackled by the NFL. And now the Paley Awards are attempting to become the new Emmy awards for TV. The ... who?
The Paley Awards would be named after former CBS head Bill Paley, for whom the New York-based Paley Center for Media is named.
As the television industry and fans alike prepare for the 62nd Primetime Emmy Awards on Sunday, a small but powerful group of TV executives are quietly creating a rival awards ceremony.
The Paley Center's Media Television Awards Planning Committee is aiming for a 2012 debut to coincide with the yearly ritual of advertising upfront events held in New York in May.
This timing would place the Paleys before the Emmys on the ‘kudos calendar’ enabling studios and networks better planning and cost efficiencies, not to mention a big bump in promotion.
According to Variety, the Paley committee is talking to the big US TV networks and advertisers about sponsorships and license agreements.
The Paley committee is chaired by Sony Pictures TV president Steve Mosko, and includes media heavyweights Fox Networks Group CEO Tony Vinciquerra and Lippin Group chairman Dick Lippin.
They're busy selecting award categories, a voting system, and weighing opening some voting to the public – a disruptive move to the entrenched and elitist Emmys. It would certainly augment the opportunity for popular network TV series to garner awards.
“It’s no secret that the networks are tired of celebrating cable shows on their dime, arguing that it is not an even playing field. The Paley attempt might give them some leverage, or at least their own platform for the whole point of these shows: promotion,” says entertainment awards observer Robert Licuri.
The LA-based Academy of Television Arts and Sciences, home of the Emmys, has favored cable programming over broadcast network shows in recent years, typically giving kudos galore to HBO and Showtime, and lately, AMC for bringing Mad Men to the party.
Competing awards ceremonies might spur better quality and more choices. As the Golden Globes complement the Oscars, the thinking goes, the Paleys could enhance the Emmys.
Paley, a broadcast pioneer whose leadership placed CBS at the top of network ratings for twenty years straight, was eulogized by Broadcasting magazine: "Paley became to American broadcasting what Carnegie was to steel, Ford to automobiles, Luce to publishing, and Ruth to baseball."
We can't help thinking Bill Paley would approve: if more awards and recognition help nurture (and fund) quality programming on TV, it's all for the good. Agree? Or in this era of online video, are they paying attention to the wrong medium?