Today in Zombie Corpse That Just Won’t Die news, the Golden Globes will be returning to NBC in 2023, after not broadcasting their 2022 ceremony in favor of doing chaotic tweets. To recap: in 2021, just days before the Golden Globes ceremony, the LA Times ran an exposé on the Hollywood Foreign Press Association, the entity behind the Golden Globes. After years of rumors of general shadiness and possible racism, the LAT pinned them on all counts, exposing financial double-dealing, bribery, and a lack of diversity that is, frankly, shocking in the 2020s. Then the 2021 Golden Globes aired and it was a total sh-tshow, even by pandemic-era standards; a few months later, NBC decided not to air the 2022 ceremony. Now, however, the HFPA is under new management, and NBC is reportedly in talks to secure Tuesday, January 10, 2023, as the official return of the Globes to television.
Let’s start with the most obvious thing—why a Tuesday night? Well, all the Sunday nights are taken. The Globes usually air on the first Sunday in January, but in 2023, that’s New Year’s Day. The next Sunday is the final game of the NFL regular season—no one is going up against football. And January 15 has already been claimed by the Critics’ Choice Awards (full disclosure: as a member of the Critics’ Choice Association, I vote in the CCAs). So, a Tuesday in January, just days before everyone will be dressing up for the CCAs, the new-and-improved(??) HFPA is hoping everyone will dress up for them, too.
It’s going to be REALLY interesting to see if that works. I got the sense this year no one missed the Globes, not the talent, not the press, not the studio and network brass, and not the handlers who have to make all that red carpet wizardry happen. One less awards show was welcome, in fact, and given that questions about the HFPA persist, I wonder if returning to TV will pan out as planned. As for why NBC is pushing it, they signed a $60 million broadcast deal through 2026. For better or worse (worse), they’re going to try and extract any value they can from that.
But hey, what about that new management? Maybe the HFPA cleaned up their act! Eeeehhhhh, maybe. Big maybe. The HFPA, formerly a non-profit organization—at least on paper—was bought by Eldridge Industries this summer. It is now a for-profit organization, with members receiving $75,000 annual salaries. (I belong to three critics’ groups and none of them pay me. In fact, I pay annual dues.) The HFPA has admitted over 20 new members—six of whom are Black, all the press releases point out—but the Golden Globes will also have an expanded pool of selected balloters to widen the voting base for the show. These additional voters will not be paid. The HFPA’s philanthropic arm has been spun off into a separate non-profit organization.
Further, Eldridge Industries, headed by Todd Boehly, also took control of Dick Clark Productions, the production company responsible for the Golden Globes (among other things). And one more thing, Todd Boehly also co-owns real estate firm Cain International through Eldridge Industries (and sits on Cain’s board), and Cain International is a stakeholder in the Beverly Hilton, the hotel that hosts the Golden Globes. So basically, one dude now owns the HFPA and Golden Globes, the production company behind the Golden Globes, and the hotel where the Golden Globes are held. Self-dealing was a problem for the HFPA before, I’m not sure this is any better?
Audiences are tuning out of awards shows in droves, but the awards industrial complex remains entrenched in the industry. It is big business, and the Globes were big business for the HFPA. Now that they’re a for-profit concern, the Globes can be even better business. Every effort will be made to get the Globes back on track. There will undoubtedly be a major push to restore the glamour of the Golden Globes, even on a Tuesday, but in a post-COVID world, after a couple of years of non-traditional and/or totally absent broadcasts, and a time when awards shows, in particular, and conspicuous displays of wealth, in general, are increasingly disgusting to audiences, will anyone tune in? Will any celebrities show up?