Alan Clark

Alan Clark

Every now and then, you discover someone who expresses the same thoughts you have, but much better.

Such was the case just after the recent Emmy Awards show recently when I read Jay Greeson’s opinion column in the Chattanooga Times Free Press. Parts of it so thoroughly mirror my own views about awards shows that I had to share them with you, compliments of Jay and the TFP.

Like me, he got started in sports and migrated to opinions, and like me, he equally shares a disdain for all these awards specials on TV.

Are they relevant?

Are they meaningful to anyone except the participants?

Time was when we could enjoy them on a Sunday night, eagerly awaiting who won what on the movies or TV series, but now, it’s complicated.

I’ll let Jay take over:

“In retrospect, I’m not overly sure why we lined up to watch these award shows in which the entertainment community celebrates the entertainment community. But we did. In earnest. For years, right there behind the Super Bowl was The Oscars in TV numbers.

“Sunday’s overnight numbers were drastically bad, averaging 6.9 million viewers (for the Emmys). That’s a dip of 33 percent from last year’s then-record-low of 10.2 million and a drastic plummeting from almost 22 million in 2001.

“Do the numbers matter that much? No, not really. TV numbers for everything this side of the NFL are trending downward. The figures are more telling than a lack of a host, the lack of buzz about the Emmys and the lack of connection to the TV viewing public.

“I can remember knowing the regularly scheduled programming of the three major networks. I can remember when Fox was the brash newcomer. I can remember when we got to 50 channels, and that made a TV-lover smile like a fat man at the Golden Corral.

“Now, the choices are limitless. The talent on these shows — and the genres covered — are better almost every day. Great news, right?

“Not for the major TV networks. ABC, CBS, NBC and Fox proper combined to win 16 Emmys. Prime Video won 15. Yes, I’m not entirely sure what’s on Prime Video, either.

“Sure, there are a ton of awards — how about Supporting Boom Operator to Third Writer for a Variety Special? HBO, powered by ‘Game of Thrones’ and ‘Chernobyl,’ had a network-best 34 winners. Netflix was second with 27.

“According to critics, TV shows have never been better, but TV’s future in a lot of ways has never been more uncertain. More TV options with better TV programming seems like a perfect scenario for a TV fan, right?

“Wrong.

“Cord-cutting — people cancelling their cable to access various streaming channels and shows on their internet devices — is hardly a new trend. In fact, within five years, the number of online viewers is expected to pass the number of cable subscribers. Go a step further. Netflix has more than 60 million subscribers; Comcast is the largest cable provider with 21.6 million, according to recent numbers from the National Cable & Telecommunications Association.

“I am old enough to remember when I was 8 and I was the TV remote control for my dad, and I would walk to the TV stand (yes, we had TVs on stands, young people) and wait until he decided whether he wanted to watch 2, 5, 11 or the scraggly picture on 46.

“Now there are forever more choices, options and winners of Emmys. The more the merrier, but for TV execs, it’s the more the scarier.”

Sadly, I have lost interest in all this. I could not care less who won for what, although I read that “Chernobyl” on HBO did carry home several Emmys. Now THAT was a good “limited TV series,” as they called it.

Otherwise, you can save your advertising dollars guys and gals for something that us average American TV viewers are going to enjoy and make it available on cable for Pete’s sake, because that’s the way it oughtta be.

Alan Clark’s opinions are those of the writer and not necessarily the publisher. Clark’s award-winning columns are also available as podcasts on Apple Music.