Monday, March 06, 2006

Suppose They Had an Oscar Telecast...

...and no one watched. That's got to be the question of the day in the executive suites at ABC, which pays big bucks to televise Hollywood's annual orgy of self-congratulation.

Drudge has the early numbers from Nielsen, and they're nothing to cheer about. According to the number-crunchers, this year's broadcast will be the second least-watched Oscar telecast, ranking only behind the 2003 debacle, when Chicago won best picture, and no one cared--or bothered to tune in. With a 27.1 rating/40 share for this year's broadcast, that means around 45 million Americans watched at least a portion of the Academy Awards. The program will be #1 for the week, but consider this: a recent edition of American Idol--nothing more than an update of Starsearch or Ted Mack's Amateur Hour--attracted upwards of 30 million viewers, with far younger (and supposedly, better) demos than the Oscar broadcast. And Fox pays a lot less to carry American Idol than ABC ponies up for the Academy Awards.

While noting the sagging ratings, the AP story (typically) misses the reason for the declining audience. Simply stated: few Americans cared about the films that Hollywood celebrated as its finest. In other words, those of us in "Flyover Country" or "Jesusland" didn't care if "Crash" edged out "Brokeback Mountain" for best picture, since most of us had never seen the films, nor had any desire to waste $8 on them.

Political Calculations has the numbers; this year's crop of best picture nominees have, collectively, earned a total of $223 million at the box office., making them some of the least popular films ever nominated for that award. Brokeback Mountain, the tale of two gay sheep ranchers (no puns, please) tops the list at $75 million, followed by Crash (which actually won the Oscar) at 53$ million. Rounding out the list were Munich ($46 million), Good Night and Good Luck ($30 million) and Capote ($23 million).

This is the best Hollywood had to offer in 2005 ...a gay cowboy film; a story of unlikeable people whose lives are intersected by a car crash, or the demonization of Israeli agents who tracked down Palestinian terrorists. And, if that wasn't enough, there was also the factually incomplete (and somewhat incorrect) retelling of Edward R. Murrow's confrontation with Senator Joseph McCarthy, and (finally), the film potrait of a gay writer who was more absored with his own celebrity than his craft. These are "best picture" nominees? Forgive me if I'm underwhelmed.

Meanwhile, a film that many red-staters found far more agreeable (The Chronicle of Narnia: The Lion, The Witch and the Wardrobe), won a single Oscar last night, for achievement in make-up. Did I also mention that the film has also grossed almost $300 million since its release last December, or $70 million more than this year's best picture nominees combined?

George Clooney, who was named Best Supporting Actor for his role in Syriana, has reportedly said that he is proud that Hollywood is so out of touch with mainstream America. Fine. Mr. Clooney and the rest of the film colony have every right to make movies that are edgy, daring, outrageous, and guaranteed to tick off everyone between Manhattan and Bel Air. But don't be surprised when most of us don't show up at the theater, or watch the Oscar night love-fest on ABC.

1 comment:

augurwell said...


HA, HA, HA. Serves them right.

On an encouraging note I heard somewhere awhile ago that Clint Eastwood is off someplace making a movie. I've been renting older movies and haven't seen a new release in maybe 2 years. Last good one was "The Last Samurai Warrior", it had and interesting story to it. The best I can remember in a long time is "Gladiator".

You know the way that Hollywood has been acting and the media and TV, it makes me wonder whether this country is being blackmailed ? And the way the new papers go too. Maybe that's farfetched but it seems to me that a lot of people just don't get it, or things are out of sync.

I remember when there was all that who-bitty-how during the Reagan years toward the end when the protesters where figuring the world was coming to an end because the President was going to get us nuked.... they were half right the soviet world came to an end. If they didn't all go underground and are pretending and have infiltrated in some insidious way ? I liked when Uncle Ron called the peacenix a bunch of soviet dupes, it made perfect sense.

There are a lot of soviet left over suitcase bombs missing, I heard what if the black market had them smuggled into cities already. It does not make sense the way the world is acting.

Bruce Willis a few weeks ago was talking along and out comes ".... Clinton,
that lying prick." up here in Canada it's was front page on Nelan News.

Then I heard about the VP's hunting accident and I'm hopping he nailed some peacenix in a duel, did I mention that to you before ? Oh well I stopped watching TV after I found out how they were misrepresenting things about the war. The Rumsfeld said the same thing a little while latter so some of us have a grip on the situation.

Sometime I think what if there was a disease that was fatal and we had the cure and could give it to the good people before it struck and all the bad were history. What ruthlessness it would take to do that huh ?

I think this shows some relative truth. If you saw it before well it's only cyber-space if not you might feel good. People can be fickle and ungrateful.

Harris Poll Shows Military Still Most-Admired U. S. Institution
By Jim Garamone
American Forces Press Service

WASHINGTON, March 7, 2006 – The military continues to be the most admired institution in America, according to the latest Harris Poll.

A total of 47 percent of Americans said they have a "great deal" of confidence in the military. Some 38 percent of Americans said they had "only some" confidence and 14 percent said they had "hardly any" confidence in the military.

The military was followed in the poll by small business - a new category in 2005 - with 45 percent of Americans saying they had a great deal of confidence; colleges and universities, 38 percent; the Supreme Court, 33 percent; and Medicine, 31 percent.

At the bottom of the survey, released March 2, were law firms at 10 percent, Congress at 10 percent, organized labor at 12 percent, major companies at 13 percent and the press at 14 percent.

Anchoring the middle was organized religion at 30 percent, the White House at 25 percent, public schools at 22, the courts and justice system at 21, and television news at 19.

The military has done well in the poll since the mid-1980s. The first poll, conducted in 1966, had the military at 61 percent approval rating. The next poll, conducted in 1971 showed the corrosive effect of the Vietnam War on America. Only 27 percent of Americans had confidence in the military then.

The public confidence in the military climbed after the 1970s and by 1989 the military was the most-trusted organization in the United States.

Harris Interactive, based in Rochester, N. Y. , conducts the poll without sponsors. "We do this on our own," public relations coordinator Kelly Gullo said.

Gullo said Harris Interactive pollsters canvassed 1,016 U. S. adults via telephone. She said the sampling error for the survey is plus or minus 3 percent.

I'm not paranoid and though your site is interesting, I think the supper spies would be blogging on the other hand....

Thanks for the info on the waste of Hollywood. Like I said serves them right.

If we are being blackmailed I can't come up with the answer all by myself but I'd consider calling the bluff. I know we have plans for everything but it also needs politcall conviction to pull off.