Golden Globes shines with TV audience boost

2010-01-19 10:15

NBC’s Golden Globes award show, hosted by British actor-comedian

Ricky Gervais, shined a little brighter in the ratings this year, according to

Nielsen numbers released yesterday.

“The 67th Annual Golden Globe Awards” had 14% more viewers than

last year’s show. The three-hour shindig won its time slot and drew 16.9-million

viewers, beating an audience of 14.9-million viewers last year.

Originating from Los Angeles at 5pm local time, the event was aired

live by NBC in all time zones, rather than delayed for prime-time broadcast in

the West, as in past years.

But even with the audience upswing, viewership remained far below

the biggest year for the show. In 2004, 26.8-million viewers tuned in.

The Hollywood Foreign Press Association bestows the awards for

achievements in television and motion pictures.

Two years ago, the awards were slammed by the Hollywood writers

strike, which left the broadcast a shell of itself: a laundry list of the

winners read aloud, devoid of glitz, celebrities or ceremony. Only 6-million

viewers bothered to watch.

Sunday’s show got a mixed reaction from critics, as did the

performance of its first host in 15 years.

“Not a great night for Ricky Gervais,” wrote Los Angeles Times TV

critic Mary McNamara.

But she added that almost every winner (with the exception of

multiple “Avatar” honouree James Cameron, who, on stage, was as vocally focused

on his over-full bladder as his trophies) displayed “an air of grateful


The modesty that seemed to rule the evening represented a downside

for some observers, who love the Globes for its customary boozed-up party


Maybe last week’s devastating earthquake in Haiti kept things more

sober than usual.

“There were smiles and costly dresses and showy jewellery,” wrote

The New York Times’ Alessandra Stanley, “but the festivities never really got

off the ground, perhaps weighed down by an overlay of unease.”

Or maybe, for better or worse, the Golden Globes have gone

straight. “Perhaps it’s finally time the Golden Globes stops cultivating a

reputation as a wild and woolly affair,” wrote The Hollywood Reporter’s Andrew

Wallenstein, who called Sunday’s show “leaden even by Oscar standards, weighed

down by surprisingly uninspired hosting from Ricky Gervais.”

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