This morning Ed wrote about the anticipated (and delivered) crash and burn of the ratings for last night’s Emmys. I suppose I contributed to that in a small way since I was watching football. In my Twitter feed, I only saw two of the conservatives I follow commenting on the show so that seemed to be a fairly common practice among our tribe.
The initial scoring put them in position to be one of the worst rated Emmys outings of the modern era. This led a few timid voices to meekly suggest this morning that just perhaps the show needs something of a reboot. Whether you blame it on the abject, entirely one-sided politicization of something which was supposed to be about entertainment (a place we normally go to flee politics for a while) or just the continued flood of cable channels and streaming services cutting into everyone’s pie, you can forget about that. To borrow a line from Pink Floyd, I’ve got some bad news for you sunshine.
Hollywood doesn’t care whether you watch or not. Granted, this is just the view from my personal armchair, but there are two reasons why this is almost certainly true.
First of all, yes… the ratings were bad compared to their salad days. But even if they only bring in eight million viewers and a 2.8 share, that’s not going to stop the show or cause the parade of liberals running the industry to back away from their moment to spit in the face of flyover country. Any time you’re pulling in a total viewer number within sight of ten million you’re still up near Big Bang Theory finale numbers and they can pay all the bills with that just fine. In the new, far more competitive market you can keep a show on the air with far less. Heck, they renewed The Good Place (an excellent show, by the way) for a second season and their finale only managed a 1.1 rating with 3.8 million viewers.
But that’s not the only reason and probably not even the largest. If you’ll allow me to be so bold as to engage in a bit of mind-reading here, the Emmys could lose half of their current ratings again and it just wouldn’t matter. You see, the people who organize these shows, the studio heads, most of the major stars and the real power brokers just don’t care what you think if you’re not living inside their bubble. As an outsider, you’re part of “them.” You know “them” right? They aren’t sophisticated, woke, enlightened beings who are trying to work for positive, progressive change. They’re hicks. The people of the land. The common clay of the new West. You know… morons. (If you didn’t get that reference without Googling it you are beyond help here.)
All jokes aside, Hollywood sees no reason to change. They get up on that stage and make their speeches and tell the same five jokes about conservatives ad nauseam and they honestly believe that everyone agrees with them. Well… at least everyone who matters, anyway. In reality they may only be talking to a handful of densely packed counties along the coasts and around the major cities, but that doesn’t matter. Nobody else is worth talking to. They won’t change because they see no reason to change, even if the ratings for these glitzy displays of mutual onanation and reciprocal applause drop lower than a CW rerun of Crazy Ex-Girlfriend. The show must go on.
But look on the bright side. They’ll probably continue to host it on Sunday nights, so at least there will always be football. (Jets fans are excused from being asked to think of that as the “bright side.”)