As the red carpet is rolled out for the Golden Globes, it’s a rare opportunity for viewers to see their favorite television actors and movie stars rubbing shoulders as they honor each other’s accomplishments over dinner and champagne. But once the who’s who of Hollywood gathers under one roof, TV takes a supporting role, not a lead one.
During the broadcast itself, film is honored in 15 categories, including screenplay, director and original score, while television only receives 11, all for onscreen talent except drama, comedy and miniseries or motion picture made for TV.
“It’s like nobody writes or directs television,” TV Guide Magazine critic Matt Roush says. “(The Golden Globes) doesn’t go very deep when it comes to TV. It does seem to me — from a critical point of view — that TV is the poor cousin to the movie stars. Television’s kind of lucky to be invited.”
But the attitude within the TV studios and networks is that rather than competing against film, they are running their own race, and what the Hollywood Foreign Press Assn. lacks in honoring the craft, it make up with enthusiasm for the finished product.
“This group loves television,” says Richard Licata, exec veep of communications at NBC Universal. “They are voracious television watchers and love to champion new shows.”
Case in point: In recent years, such shows as “Mad Men,” “Glee” and “Boardwalk Empire” all have received awards for top TV show in their first year, and often Emmys have followed — eventually.
“(The nominations) are forecasting the Emmy winners three or four years later,” says French journalist Herve Tropea, a four-year HFPA member. ” ‘The Sopranos,’ for instance, won the Golden Globe for drama the first year. The Emmys waited until the sixth season to recognize the show. For me, that says everything.”
Despite overlapping wins, Roush says a Golden Globe is rarely considered a precursor for the Emmy.
Still, the value of a Golden Globe nomination or win should not be discounted.
“It’s considerable exposure for your show to be at the Golden Globes because the (awards) show itself has become such a hit,” Roush adds. “And I think the show is a hit because it is so not the Oscars. It’s not stuffy. You don’t have to sit through a lot of things about writers and directors you never heard of, because it really is all about the stars from both movies and television.”
The other most noticeable difference between the two forms of entertainment is the TV industry’s approach to campaigning. Instead of extensive print campaigns, typical for the Emmys, the networks and publicists instead offer access to talent through year-round press conferences and phone interviews.
“The press conferences I’ve always viewed more as a journalistic exercise because they need material for the markets they write for,” says Licata. “But it serves two purposes: It’s for the stories and for consideration for the awards.”
Cristina Mancini, senior veep of worldwide marketing at 20th Century Fox, who works with the HFPA year-round, laughs at the notion of expensive campaigns so often heard about on the film side.
“We don’t have those types of budgets,” she says. “I don’t feel that we miss out by not doing it. We get nominations for what we’re tracking and ultimately wins where we anticipate them. I don’t feel that if I started throwing the soiree of the week, it would tip the dial in either direction.”
What a Golden Globe means for a show and its network ultimately comes down to exposure — which hopefully translates to ratings — and recognition.
“I don’t think the importance of a nomination can be overstated, especially for a first-year show,” says “Homeland” exec producer Alex Gansa, who has previously been nominated for his work on “Beauty and the Beast,” “The X-Files” and “24.” “It says, ‘Even though you’re the new kid on the block, you belong in the company of the other elite shows on television.’ And that translates almost immediately into a bigger audience.”
And when you’re working in a perceived vacuum, there’s no trophy — especially one handed out in front of the entire world — that won’t serve as validation.
“(The Globe and the Emmy) almost are synonymous in terms of their meaning and value,” says creator and exec producer Terence Winter of “Boardwalk Empire,” which pocketed last year’s drama Globe. “Winning the Globe was equally as thrilling and in some ways more so because it means your show is working, not just here, but it’s working everywhere.”
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