Daytime Emmys Move to Cable
The Daytime Emmys finally have an official television home. Wednesday the National Academy of Television Arts and Sciences announced that HLN, CNN’s sibling Headline News Network, will air the awards live nationwide on Saturday June 23 at 8PM Eastern/5PM Pacific, with additional encore broadcasts. This is the first time the Daytime Emmys will air on cable, instead of a broadcast network. Loco Distro, a production company that focuses on independent films and documentaries that appears to have no connection to daytime television, will produce the awards. They will take place at the Beverly Hills Hilton, home of the Golden Globe awards, and will be directed by Mark Lucas, whose credits include numerous concert telefilms, but no award shows. A host has not yet been named.
According to Variety, the company was selected after NATAS received numerous complaints about the previous two Las Vegas themed award shows, which were produced by ATI. Chairman Malachy Wienges told Variety “After the last show, the daytime community approached NATAS and said that if we have to do the show in 2012 the exact same as in 2010 and 2011, we would rather have an untelevised event and just have a sit-down dinner and honor ourselves in Beverly Hills.”
This year’s kudocast had already generated controversy. Wednesday, news broke that NATAS planned to move younger leading actor and actress categories out of the main awards ceremony and give them out at the Creative Arts Emmys a week earlier. After several hours of complaints from both journalists and fans, the categories were moved back to the main ceremony. Last year, the academy attempted to deny the Younger Actor winners the opportunity to make acceptance speeches before relenting. Other awards shows have attempted to make similarly bizarre cuts. In 2009, the primetime Emmys planned to cut the Drama Writing category from the telecast until the WGA protested, seemingly unaware that in addition to insulting the people who create the shows, top showrunners have become celebrities that fans tune in to see. The Younger Actor category regularly awards daytime’s most exciting and popular actors, some of whom go on to become household names. Past winners include Julianne Moore, Anne Heche, Sarah Michelle Gellar, Jonathan Jackson, Sarah Brown, Roger Howarth, with nominees including Nathan Fillion, Robin Wright, and Jensen Ackles. This year, Chandler Massey is the frontrunner in the Younger Actor category for one of daytime’s most talked about storylines, Will’s coming out. Why would NATAS even consider dropping his category? The only people who are going to tune in to the Daytime Emmys on a Saturday night are soap fans, regardless of how popular cooking and court shows may be. Now that it’s airing on a low rated cable network, why not expand to three hours and include more categories and longer acceptance speeches?
Fortunately, the Golden Globes style banquet will almost certainly be an improvement over 2011 and 2012’s Vegas infommercials that angered both nominees and fans. LocoDistro’s Gabriel Gornell told Variety, “This has to be as much a tribute to daytime television as an awards show… This show is probably going to have more awards than previous years and is probably going to have fewer song-and-dance numbers than previous years.”
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“The Bold & the Beautiful’s” brand new lesbian storyline already has set itself apart from other daytime treatments of the subject. The gay characters are adults who are in a longterm relationship, rather than a teen who is struggling to come out. That means B&B can’t cop out by focusing on the no longer controversial stance that parents should accept their gay children, thereby avoiding romance and kissing. Karen (Joanna Johnson) and Dani (Crystal Chappell) should be characters like all the others on B&B: rich, obsessed with their relatives love lives, and on the verge of falling in love with other people after spending five minutes with them. Yet, once again, this is so far a plot about characters coming out of the closet, even though it makes no sense.
Though Karen and Dani have been together for well over a decade and raised a child, Caroline, together, Karen still feels the need to keep her sexual orientation a secret from her family. Apparently, she and Dani were out and proud in New York, but now she is so terrified that her brother Bill (Don Diamont) will find out she is a lesbian that she forbid Caroline to tell anyone she knows about her family. Sure enough, when Bill comes over, he worries that people will get the “wrong idea” about two women living together. While Bill has pioneered 101 new ways of being a jerk — in this week alone he ordered his pregnant wife to get an abortion and bugged his future daughter in law’s therapist’s office — I don’t buy him being homophobic. The guy is an international publishing executive — covering the fashion industry. The fashion industry is beyond gay positive. It’s gay majority. Presumably, all of the unseen Forrester and Spencer employees are gay. Being prejudiced against gay people would hurt Bill’s career. Moreover Bill, who has sexual fantasies about every woman he encounters, seems like a man who would be all in favor of lesbians, provided they made out in front of him. Finally, so what if Bill does not approve of Karen? Her explanation that she originally hid her relationship to appease her father who would have otherwise disinherited her made sense. But Bill has no such power over her. The show takes in the liberal West Side of Los Angeles, the setting for ‘The L Word”, not conservative, small town Salem. Truly, nobody would even find Karen and Danielle’s relationship worthy of comment.
Caroline’s reaction to her mistaken belief that Rick (Jacob Young) was a cross dresser also seemed off. While it is a realistic dating dealbreaker even for someone who grew up in New York and works in fashion around scores of people with a variety of sexual proclivities, she seemed scandalized and devastated rather than blase and amused. Her dialogue that she was hurt that Rick was keeping secrets from her did not track since, from her point of view, he was openly walking around in high heels and lipstick. An adult character who was raised by gay parents is a television rarity. Caroline should be every bit as groundbreaking as her parents. She has certainly shown that children of gay parents are just like everybody else. She is as self-absorbed and melodramatic as everyone else on the show.