The Hollywood Foreign Press Assn. is both lucky and smart to land Tina Fey and Amy Poehler as hosts for the 72nd annual Golden Globes on Jan. 11, 2015. And the Wednesday announcement is a reminder that this awards-show is a force to be reckoned with.
It’s no surprise that the org, along with Dick Clark Prods. and NBC, would want the Fey-Poehler duo to return, after their successful previous stints while some other kudos shows have offered some less-than-stellar hosts. The press release reminded that the Feb. 12 show grew 2% from the previous year in the 18-49 demographic, and 6% in total viewers.
And the early statement about date and hosts is an HFPA affirmation as the networks increasingly embrace live-TV events, and as other shows are moving in on their turf, including the Hollywood Film Awards, which are also being produced by Clark Prods.
In the past few years, the HFPA has been involved in a series of legal battles, including with Clark Prods. (Official billing for the Globes is “produced by Dick Clark Prods. in association with the HFPA.”) Clark Prods. announced in January that it had firmed a multi-year deal with CBS for the Hollywood Film Awards, which had never been televised but were traditionally scheduled in late October, to promote itself as the first awards event of the season.
The Globes’ date is not a surprise, consistent with the org’s early-January berth. The Academy of Motion Picture Arts & Sciences hasn’t unveiled its dates yet, but if the Acad sets dates similar to this year, balloting would again close before the Globes ceremony.
No doubt that’s OK with the HFPA, whose members have worked to give the Globes their own identity. After years of bouncing between syndication and basic-cable, the Globes returned to national U.S. broadcast in 1995, and promoted the ceremony as a bellwether of the Oscars. That was true until Oscar switched dates, at which point the two voting groups usually had very different results. But the discrepancies led to the Globes’ new identity as “party of the year,” an image they still capitalize on.