Daytime Emmys Telecast Searches for Network

Daytime Emmy Awards
Ethan Miller/Getty Images

The Daytime Emmy Awards is used to being in a state of flux.

The kudosfest, still negotiating a home for this year’s telecast, has switched networks almost annually for four decades and has been beset by a 20-year ratings slide. Case in point: In 1993, the broadcast garnered 22 million viewers. Last year, viewers of the HLN telecast numbered 913,000.

According to Gabriel Gornell, who exec produced the past two telecasts, audience apathy may be due to the ceremony’s strong focus on one genre: soap operas. “There’s a long history in building this special around daytime dramas,” says Gornell.

While only five of 2013’s 118 Emmy-nominated shows were soaps, nine of the 19 awards were soap-centric. Talkers, gameshows and kids’ programming were in the minority, so there probably wasn’t much of a draw for viewers who aren’t aficionados of daytime dramas like “General Hospital.”

The Daytime Emmys also face a demographic challenge. The median age of people watching “The View” and “The Price Is Right” is in the 60s, well outside the coveted 25-54 demo. And it wasn’t until 2013 that the Daytime Emmys pursued younger viewers by live-tweeting the ceremony and accepting online shows into the competition.

Still, it’s surprising that the Daytime Emmys can’t find a TV home at a time when live, DVR-proof events are commanding a premium and kudocasts are on the upswing thanks to second-screen activity.

Per David Michaels of the New York-based National Academy of Television Arts & Sciences, the org that spearheads the show, broadcasting the awards event on VOD and streaming it online, in addition to it being on TV, could be the ideal means by which to connect with a larger audience, one that includes the ever-expanding, tech-savvy youth market.

“It would be great to partner with a broadcaster that would stream it online in addition to it being on TV,” says Michaels. “The idea is to reach the largest audience, and so many youth today don’t even think about watching shows on TV. They watch everything on their computers. I’d much rather have people doing that than not watch it at all.”

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  1. Cassie Hicks says:

    Say, Mr. Michaels, I know what you can do. In order for “The 41st Annual Daytime Emmy Awards” to gain more viewership, you can hire multi-platinum singer/songwriter/producer Mariah Carey to host that awards show, in order for her to promote her latest CD, which will drop next month. “Lambs” and more soap opera fans alike will be able to watch the Daytime Emmy awards show, once Ms. Carey starts hosting it.; I’d also love for her to do a duet with one of the hottest, younger guys of daytime soaps. It would make the biggest Daytime Emmy Awards show history.

  2. Georgette says:

    It’s apparently all about ratings, and the audience isn’t there anymore. Instead of being somewhat satisfied that there have been Daytime Emmy broadcasts, we see the usual default to complaints and entitlement. I will believe a reporter at Variety and the actual executive producer of the show instead of some bitter complaints from disgruntled soap fans. But one really has to wonder, given the rumors that certain people are spreading (and the actual soap press told us to ignore) that if ABC wants AMC and OLTL back – why wouldn’t they be televising the Daytime Emmys? Logistical question, no?

  3. Xanna Don't says:

    I also agree with the other 5 comments here thus far.
    From the article above: <<>>
    Yes! Thank you, Variety, for exposing this guy’s hypocrisy! The “long history” is about when these awards were successful; before he came along. The audience for daytime drama is still here and it’s very frustrating for us to hear this kind of duplicitous malarkey. He must be trying to get producing gigs for ABC, or he clearly has no idea what’s going on.
    For 19 years, millions waited for Susan Lucci to win Best Actress. It finally happened and it was huge! The cover of People magz for Erica Kane! Then the academy decided to change the rules because it felt that “All My Children” (LaLucci’s soap, AMC) had too much voting power because, as the soap with the most staff, it had too much voting power. Each soap could only put forth 1 nominee in each category. That is certainly not the criteria for Primetime. Perhaps AMC had the biggest cast/crew because it was incredibly successful? Isn’t that the point?
    AMC and its sister soap “One Life To Live” (OLTL), both the brilliant creations of Agnes Nixon, were unfairly canceled by an “executive” with an irrational loathing for these kinds of shows: Brian Frons. He’s no longer with ABC, btw. And OLTL was ABC’s highest rated daytime show at the time of its cancellation. Does that happen in Primetime?
    Compound his phobic attitude with faulty Nielsen ratings (they don’t count recorded views after 48 hours) and two of the best soaps are no longer represented for these awards. That’s where the viewers went! As many as 3 to 5 million AMC & OLTL fans are out. Done. No thanks. And they’re also BOYCOTTING ABC AND DISNEY AS A WHOLE, which I believe is a big contributor to the alphabet network’s standing in 4th place (last) place amongst their other major network competitors.
    Do the math. Obviously Mr. Gornell hasn’t a clue.

  4. missnanse says:

    I totally agree with charcramer. The Daytime Emmy’s are watched by soap fans and used to be hosted by them. Beautiful women and gorgeous men giving the Emmy’s to the best in soaps. Look back at the glory days and you will clearly see the draw. As soaps reemerge they should be heralded for their great work! Send in the soap stars!

  5. charcramer says:

    All the commenters here are correct. The problem with the Daytime Emmys is NOT enough emphasis on the soaps. Last year’s telecast on HLN was an embarrassing joke. The people watching care about the soaps. Not cooking shows, talk shows or Robin Meade singing. The Daytime Emmys need to be live, hosted by soap stars, promoted heavily and live tweeted by soap stars. Then you’ll have good ratings.

  6. Michelle says:

    I am shocked by the comment that “audience apathy” is due to the strong emphasis on soap operas. I am 23 years old and I can honestly say that the reason I have been SO turned off by the Daytime Emmys in these last years is because there is so little emphasis on soap operas. I mean, put two and two together! As the actual soap operas have left the air, the ratings for the Daytime Emmys have declined as viewers no longer have an interest in watching to see if there favorite actor, actress, writing team, or series wins– because chances are that their soap is no longer on the air (and consequently not nominated!). Instead of taking the opportunity to really honor the remaining soaps during the Daytime Emmys (here’s a thought, perhaps show a portion of each Emmy reel, as they do at the Primetime Emmys, other award shows, and as they used to do at the Daytime Emmys!), I suppose they’ve taken the liberty of completely ignoring the remarkableness of a 50+ year series in favor of propping and advertising countless talk shows that come, go, and are forgotten.
    There is absolutely NOTHING interesting or exciting about watching talk show hosts garner awards and that is why, year after year, I find myself promising I’ll never tune into the Daytime Emmys again because the emphasis they put on soap operas shamefully shrinks by the year.

  7. John says:

    The Daytime Emmys are the only televised media remaining that celebrates the soaps and brings coverage of the medium to its fans. The awards need to be on a broadcast network!! Not some corner-of-the-cable-box channel somewhere that few will get to see. How will more people watch if the event keeps getting marginalized? Sharon is also right, less non-daytime-related fluff and mess cluttering up the awards show would help tremendously and at least some actor highlight reels. The actors go to the trouble to send in clips of themselves, the least the awards show could do would be to let us see them as the actors are introduced. This is sad that we are thisclose to the traditional airing date of the awards, and none of the broadcast networks have stepped up. People that work in daytime aren’t just sitting around drinking coffee, they really work!!! Their work should be celebrated and rewarded, not poo-poohed and belittled. And get some producers that know how to work an awards show without all the fits/starts/hiccups/stupid-s’t! The Oscars, Golden Globes, and Primetime Emmys are still *productions*, with respectable-to-high ratings. No reason that the Daytime Emmys should be treated like second-class, red-headed stepchildren.

  8. Sharon S. says:

    Too much soaps? There was too much Vegas commercial nonsense and too much children’s show stuff. There was too much non soap “entertainment” crap. But soaps? Where were the Emmy reels? Where were the show composites? Where were the actors who were nominated while their names were being called? Where were the honors for shows reaching prestigious goals like 50 years on air or being cancelled after decades on air? Clearly the author of this article did not actually watch the last three or four years of Daytime Emmys and has absolutely no idea what they are talking about!!

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