The beleaguered Hollywood Foreign Press Association (HFPA) had good news this week with the announcement that its historic 80th annual Golden Globe Awards will return to primetime television after a year-long hiatus.
Under a one-year deal with NBC and Peacock, the show will air and stream across the United States on January 10, 2023.
Speaking on a panel at the Zurich Summit on Saturday, HFPA President Helen Hoehne welcomed the deal but said boosting viewership figures for the Golden Globes show remained difficult. .
“How do you get people to reconnect and engage?” she says. “The truth is, since we don’t really celebrate blockbuster movies and award shows, why are people tuning in? What do they want to watch?” she said.
“People look at things differently,” she continued, noting that the most popular live TV event in the United States was NFL football. “He is our greatest enemy. This is what we struggle with. I think you all know, next year the Golden Globes airs on a Tuesday. And that’s because Sunday is reserved for NFL football.
Hoehne said having the show airing on Peacock, as well as NBC, was exciting, but suggested more work needs to be done to connect with people on social media.
“People don’t watch broadcast TV anymore. They are on Tik-Tok, Instagram, Twitter. People’s habits have changed.
She said that despite challenges with viewing figures, award shows like the Golden Globes remain a big part of the conversation about film, talent and awards season.
“The beauty of our awards shows is that they always bring the world together. We still talk about them, at school and at work,” she said.
“We’re happy to know who won it, and honestly, even in this room, who doesn’t like to win, you always like to win, don’t you? Filmmakers like to win; actors like to win. They are still relevant. We just need to make them more exciting again, and I think more fun.
Hoehne didn’t give details on any changes that could happen at the 2023 Golden Globes, but said a big name has been signed to MC the event and will be announced shortly.
“We are thinking of ways to reinvent ourselves, to make the show more exciting. We bring an exciting host and make it a fun party. But I can’t tell you who this host is yet.
The HFPA is rebuilding after 18 tumultuous months following a Los Angeles Times report alleging corruption and criticizing lack of ethnic diversity among members.
Speaking about ongoing reforms in light of these accusations, Hoehne said the HFPA has put in place rules prohibiting members from accepting gifts and offers of travel or hospitality.
The association has also sought to overhaul its membership and boost diversity, noting that a recent influx of 103 new members has changed the gender and diversity mix.
“With the additional members we just took on, we now represent 62 countries, which I really love and really is the cornerstone of our organization. Diversity, equity and inclusion is also an extremely important cause and we have been working on it all year.
Hoehne was joined on the panel by European Film Academy CEO Matthijs Wouter Knol, as well as Le Grisbi Production President John Lesher and Kingsgate Films producer Greg Shapiro, both regulars on the awards circuit and winners of an Oscar with birdman and The Hurt Locker, respectively
Shapiro joked that the Globes Awards were the “most fun” of movie nights. But he said the influence of awards season goes beyond their ceremonies, noting that the victory for The Hurt Locker had significantly boosted the film’s international travel after an initially lackluster US box office performance.
“It was incredibly important to the success of this movie. It was a tough movie that didn’t do very well at the box office. [in the U.S]but it has reached a global audience because of the benefit of the ongoing awards season as well,” he said.
“I haven’t studied it in depth, but I understand that studio heads built the early awards shows as a marketing tool, right? It’s now become a celebration of the self – in a positive, positive way — for the community, for the filmmakers to celebrate themselves. And that’s an important element that never goes away.
Speaking bluntly, Lesher said the reason audiences aren’t watching the shows in the same numbers as they once were is simply that they’re “really boring.”
But like Shapiro, he acknowledged that awards season, if not the ceremonies themselves, played their part in connecting viewers to the movies.
“When you’re making a movie, all you can try to do is make a movie that can connect with people, getting to that place is really long and difficult and very subjective,” he said.
“Then when you sit down and try to figure out how to sell the movie, you think ‘does this movie have any awards potential and how are we going to build a campaign to do that’.”
Wondering what could be done to liven up the awards shows, Shapiro suggested dropping some technical categories might make the shows more palatable to a wider audience, but wondered if that was the right one. way forward.
“I know there are a lot of categories that audiences don’t necessarily understand, but they’re really important to the art of filmmaking, and they deserve recognition,” he said.
“The show would be more popular, more people would watch it if it was shorter, and it focused on the awards that people actually enjoy: the best actors, the best picture, etc. are perceived as glamorous. But personally, I I’d be disappointed if tech rewards weren’t part of it anymore.