Faced with the prospect of a broadcast without celebrities, “The People’s Choice Awards” has scrapped its Shrine Auditorium ceremony next month.
Instead, the kudofest will take a page from entertainment newsmags like “Entertainment Tonight” and offer a series of pre-taped clip packages featuring honorees receiving their awards. Queen Latifah will remain as host but now shoot her segments from a soundstage.
CBS will still air the revised show on Jan. 8 at 9 p.m., as previously planned.
Decision to blow up the traditional kudocast format came after it appeared likely that the Writers Guild wouldn’t give “The People’s Choice Awards” a strike waiver. As a result, it was unlikely many, if any, honorees would actually attend the show.
As part of the revamped structure, the awards show is now soliciting fans to submit questions they’d like to ask stars. In their acceptance remarks, winners will also be asked to answer some of those inquiries.
“For 34 years, the People’s Choice Awards has been the show that lets the voice of the fans be heard,” kudocast prexy Fred Nelson said. “With the reinvention of People’s Choice, we’re allowing entertainment enthusiasts to have even more influence on the show. In addition, the new approach will give fans a more personal glimpse into the lives of their favorite actors and musicians.”
A spokesman for the People’s Choice Awards said the org was still negotiating its exit from the Shrine Auditorium and working on downsizing the production from a live awards show filled with celebs and VIPs in attendance to a smaller, pre-produced affair taped without an audience.
This past January “The People’s Choice Awards” attracted 11.3 million viewers, its best showing in three years.
Kudofest relies on fan votes to determine winners in a wide range of music, movies and TV categories. (Initial candidates are determined by TV ratings, box office gross or music sales.) According to the org, more than 10 million votes have been cast this year; voting in three categories — favorite new TV comedy, new TV drama and user-generated video — continues.
Pre-taped acceptance speeches may also be an option pursued by other kudocasts, such as the upcoming Golden Globes event, should thesps opt not to cross picket lines.
An update was made to this article on Dec. 21, 2007.