With ‘Breaking Bad,’ ‘Dexter,’ It’s Going to be a Very Long Night for Emmy Fans

"Dexter," "Breaking Bad" Should Cause Late

Many watching or attending Emmys will stay up late for cable dramas

Thanks to “Dexter” and “Breaking Bad,” it’s going to be a very, very late night for Emmy fans this Sunday.

Historically, there was always a sort-of gentleman’s agreement that the major networks wouldn’t vigorously counter-program against the Emmys, since it was supposed to be TV’s big night, and the majors shared the telecast. In fact, they only broke that rule when they were really ticked off, like when a then-upstart Fox snagged rights to the awards.

Well, cable apparently didn’t get the memo. And aside from the distraction of “Sunday Night Football” — which lures away a lot of men whenever the awards aren’t on NBC, but not necessarily a ton of Emmy viewers, since the show skews female — this Sunday’s awards will also have the pull of the “Dexter” series finale, penultimate “Breaking Bad” and the new season of “Boardwalk Empire” with which to contend.

If that represents a tug at select viewers with a taste for quality television (a relatively small subset, admittedly), at least they have the option of skipping the Emmys — or selected portions of it — and watching those shows live, or close to it.

Emmy attendees, by contrast, will not only sit through the awards and presumably hit a party or two afterwards, but will then want to rush home and catch those key episodes — even if it means Emmy night runs way into Monday morning — before some A-hole spoils them on Twitter. (In this context, please, tweet responsibly.)

It’s pretty well established “Breaking Bad” might be the most popular show on TV right now in industry circles, in much the way “The Wire” cast a much longer shadow within the creative community than it did ratings-wise (and a lot more people overall are watching the AMC show). Moreover, click-happy journalists will feel compelled to have their reviews/analysis/doctoral theses/compare-and-contrast essays posted so people can be up and read them at the crack of dawn, if not that evening.

Granted, it’s one of those cry-me-a-river problems in the bigger scheme of things, but it should nevertheless result in some extremely bleary eyes around offices the morning of Sept. 23. In fact, remember back when Variety’s Army Archerd used to kick off his day-after column with “Good morning, and congratulations Emmy winners?”

This year, it’ll be more like “Good afternoon, and congratulations on finally dragging your asses out of bed, Emmy fans. And as for poor Walt, who saw that coming?”

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  1. I’ll watch Breaking Bad live, DVR Emmys so I can skip as much as I can.

  2. Cheryl milgram says:

    What will I do

  3. Daryle Gardner-Bonneau says:

    Absolutely agree with rflairfan 1. The shows were always boring, but it used to be that you watched to see shows and actors you actually WATCHED and enjoyed being honored. Now, for one thing, the same things seem to get honored many years in a row – how many Emmys are they going to give to Alex Baldwin and 30 Rock? And often the shows that are honored AREN’T the ones that large audiences are watching and enjoying. Further, the awards don’t seem to relate to quality but to promotion in the business. Some shows that have fabulous acting and less promotion never get a nod. When Monica Potter failed to be honored for her role as a breast cancer patient in Parenthood, I pretty much gave up watching the Emmys. That was fantastic work, and there are many other examples. For audiences, the Emmys have become a real “yawner.”

  4. Sam says:

    Sept 29 is gonna be terrible. Revenge, the good wife, the breaking bad finale

  5. rflairfan1 says:

    I started watching awards shows in my early teens. I’m 30 now. A couple years ago I stopped. They are to long, boring and for the most part predictable. The same shows, actors and actresses are always nominated. Most of them are from shows I watch, but that doesn’t mean they deserve to get nominated or win every year. Let’s be honest broadcast tv cannot compete with cable or with this years House of Cards. I would love if HOC or Breaking Bad takes home the bigger awards and I do think they will. I think most fans will be watching Dexter even thought it has been a crappy couple of years, people will want to know how it ends. Breaking Bad of course will have strong ratings, even if it wasn’t the second to last episode. The football game is not nearly the powerhouse of the last 2 weeks. The Emmy’s will suffer in ratings. But not sure how much of it has to do with the competiton or people just sick of them.

    • Allen says:

      You realize it’s not the awards shows that have changed, right? (With the exception of their proliferation.) It’s that you have matured, and your tastes have matured along with you. Awards shows have always (since their move from radio to TV, at least) been overlong and have a tendency to reward the same talent year after year.

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