Last night's Golden Globes saw a fairly run-of-the-mill awards show, save for some technical hiccups and a noteworthy speech by Cecile B. DeMille Lifetime Achievement Award recipient Meryl Streep. Critics and fans alike were hardly shocked when La La Land took home seven awards, though there were a few upsets and unexpected turns. For example, the critically-acclaimed HBO series Westworld went home empty-handed and new comedy show Atlanta took home some key awards. You can check out the full list of winners here.
Many consider the Golden Globes to be a kind of pre-game for the Academy Awards, so fans are already excitedly speculating over which films might duke it out for top accolades this February. With many comparing NBC's Golden Globes hosting choice Jimmy Fallon to ABC's Academy Awards MC pick Jimmy Kimmel, as both host late night shows for their respective networks, it's possible the Academy Awards will be another rehashing of the Golden Globes. Despite last night's fairly tame ceremony, though, a record number of people tuned in.
According to The Wrap, early reports reveal that the 2017 Golden Globes saw a 2 percent uptick from last year's Golden Globes ceremony, in Nielsen's household TV ratings. While last year's Golden Globes show received a 13.0 rating, this year's ceremony earned a 13.2. A 2 percent difference may not seem noteworthy out of context, but it actually indicates a prominent spike in viewership, especially for an awards show. The ceremonies have seen a significant decrease in popularity in recent years, with prominent shows like the Oscars and Emmys down 6 percent and 3 percent, respectively, in 2016.
This ratings boost comes as somewhat of a surprise, given criticism of Fallon's hosting job. It likely indicates overwhelming fan interest in the nominees, as followers of dark horses like Deadpool or Stranger Things may have tuned in just to see their favorite works battle it out. This renewed interest in film awards also makes sense, since 2016 saw a record year at the box office. With widespread interest in movies at an all time high, it follows that moviegoers would want to see which films take home the gold. While the Golden Globes also acknowledge excellent TV programs from the past year, much of the show's buzz goes into its movie picks, since the awards take place months after the fall's Emmy awards.
As we head into the Oscars, with nominations coming in but a couple weeks, it's nice to see a renewed cultural interest in filmmaking awards. Not only do these increased ratings show that NBC did well with the show (despite a confounding inability to stream the awards on their own site), they indicate a respect for critical acknowledgement overall. As more and more people join conversations about film, the wall between the Hollywood elite and casual viewers grows thinner. At the same time, these numbers also show tacit approval for institutions like HFPA and the Academy, whose awards picks are often overwhelmingly white, male, and heterosexual. In that respect, this year's Golden Globes ceremony certainly failed to break the mold.
At the end of the day, it's still nice to see increased interest in film and media -- perhaps all that's missing, now, are more opportunities for viewers to make their voices heard.
Oscar nominations will be announced Tuesday, Jan. 24. The 89th Academy Awards take place at 8:30 p.m. on Sunday, Feb. 26 on ABC.
Source: The Wrap