In a move that seems more influenced by the NFL than it does by the earlier Oscar date, the Hollywood Foreign Press Assn. announced Tuesday that the 61st annual Golden Globe Awards will be held Sunday, Jan. 25, the fourth weekend in January.
The Globes traditionally are broadcast the third Sunday in January, which has positioned the kudos before the due date for Oscar nomination ballots. This year, even without shifting to the later date, the Globes would have been telecast after the new Jan. 17 due date for the Oscar nom ballots. The Oscar nominations will be announced Jan. 27.
There had been speculation that the Globes would be presented a week earlier than usual, on Jan. 11, to preserve their perceived role as an Oscar balloting influence.
But, on Jan. 11, 2004 there will be an NFL divisional playoff game broadcast on either CBS or Fox, though this game was not telecast in primetime in 2003 though it could be in 2004.
HFPA prexy Dagmar Dunlevy said there were “lots and lots of talks with NBC, the Dick Clark company and the HFPA, all of whom have 10,000 opinions” but the Jan. 25 date “is the Sunday that made the most sense.”
When asked if the one-week shift would strengthen the Globes identity as an awards show in its own right and lessen its perception as a mere Academy Award forerunner, Dunlevy said, “I hope so. That’s my intent. We’re not here to influence anything. We’re doing our own thing and we’ve done it for 60 years.”
Dunlevy also pointed out that while the Globes are usually held the third Sunday in January, the 25th is closer to when that date usually falls.
On Sunday Jan. 18, the NFC championship game will be played in primetime on Fox, meaning the Globes would have had to go against this ratings blockbuster.
Industry insiders say that NBC has the final say in when the Globes are broadcast and that the net had no desire to have the kudocast go head-to-head with strong NFL ratings competition.
In January the Globes went head-to-head with the AFC Championship game between the Tennessee Titans and the Oakland Raiders, which ran until after 10 p.m. on the East Coast. The kudocast attracted 20.1 million total viewers — down 14% from the 23.4 million total viewers who tuned in the previous year. It repped the lowest-rated Globes telecast since 1997.
Last season the NFL shifted its opening weekend from Labor Day weekend to the weekend following Labor Day. In order not to push the Super Bowl into February, the league decided to forgo the traditional week off between the Conference Championships and the Super Bowl.
Next season, the NFL will go back to having a week off after the Conference Championships and the Super Bowl will be Feb. 1.
From a broadcast perspective, the Globes are staying put on the Sunday between the NFL Conference Championships and the Super Bowl.
The later date for the Globes means that the end of January and the beginning of February will be an unusually thick “awards soup”: Jan. 25 is the closing day for the Sundance Film Festival; the Directors Guild awards are scheduled for Feb. 7; Grammys are Feb. 8; the BAFTAs are Feb. 15; and the SAG awards are Feb. 22. The Writers Guild has not set a date, but will be held mid-February.
The announcement of the Globes date had the biggest effect upon the Producers Guild: the org had scheduled its awards dinner for Jan. 25. A PGA spokesperson said it is now considering Saturday, Jan. 17, or a mid-February date.