Emmy Awards dominated by HBO, Showtime

by | Sep 24, 2012 | News

Second largest premium television network is number one at the 2012 Emmy Awards

By Julie Fish

Cable dramas dominated the winner’s circle at the 2012 Emmy Awards Sunday night.

HBO was the big winner, taking home 23 trophies and CBS came in second with 16 trophies.

Emmy winners’ origins have shifted from commercial broadcasting networks to more niche oriented cable channels in the past several years.

Commercial networks won a pitiful nine of the 26 main categories presented Sunday night furthering the dominance of critically acclaimed shows over mass appeal shows.

Showcase’s Homeland won best drama series, beating out crowd favourites like Mad Men and Breaking Bad.   COURTESY NASA GODDARD SPACE FLIGHT CENTER.

“The networks realized they don’t care much about awards, they just want ratings,” first year Humber College television writing and producing student Aaron Bala, told Humber News.

Six years ago Fox’s spy thriller 24 won the Emmy for best drama and averaged 14 million viewers an episode.

This year’s winner, the psychological drama Homeland, averaged fewer than two million viewers an episode.

Specialty networks have approached creating television shows by allowing the creators to focus on stories, as opposed to appealing to the masses.

“We are grateful we are on Showtime,” Homeland executive producer Howard Gordon told reporters backstage. “They gave us patience from the very top, allowing us to take time with the characters and let the stories breathe.”

“I think in the future, Emmys are going to go to cable programs, and Modern Family could be the last network show that crosses that critical acclaim versus ratings gap,” said Bala.

The shift has not gone unnoticed by network actors.

Winner for supporting actor in a comedy, Eric Stonestreet, spoke candidly to the Los Angeles Times after the ceremony about the future of his show Modern Family.

“We know this isn’t going to last forever,” Stonestreet said.  “We’ll be the old show in a couple of years, or maybe even next year.  Who knows?”