I admit it, I quit award shows a long time ago.

Well, that's not entirely true. I check back in occasionally to see if there is a major category on right at that minute and, more importantly, if the show has reached the "In Memory" part of the broadcast. Because who doesn't love the sentimental scroll of the stars who have died in the last 12 months?

If that sounds macabre, sorry. But did you know Laverne kicked the bucket since the last Emmys? Yeah, neither did I.

In retrospect, I'm not overly sure why we lined up to watch these award shows in which the entertainment community celebrates the entertainment community. But we did. In earnest.

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Jay Greeson

For years, right there behind the Super Bowl was The Oscars in TV numbers.

Sunday's overnight numbers were drastically bad, averaging 6.9 million viewers. That's a dip of 33 percent from last year's then-record-low of 10.2 million and a drastic plummeting from almost 22 million in 2001.

Do the numbers matter that much? No, not really. TV numbers for everything this side of the NFL are trending downward.

The figures are more telling than a lack of a host, the lack of buzz about the Emmys and the lack of connection to the TV viewing public.

I can remember knowing the regularly scheduled programming of the three major networks. I can remember when Fox was the brash newcomer. I can remember when we got to 50 channels and that made a TV-lover smile like a fat man at the Golden Corral.

Now, the choices are limitless. The talent on these shows — and the genres covered — are better almost everyday.

Great news, right?

Not for the major TV networks. ABC, CBS, NBC and Fox proper combined to win 16 Emmys.

Prime Video won 15. Yes, I'm not entirely sure what's on Prime Video, either.

Sure, there are a ton of awards — how about Supporting Boom Operator to Third Writer for a Variety Special?

HBO, powered by "Game of Thrones" and "Chernobyl," had a network-best 34 winners. Netflix was second with 27.

According to critics, TV shows have never been better, but TV's future in a lot of ways has never been more uncertain.

More TV options with better TV programming seems like a perfect scenario for a TV fan, right?


Cord-cutting — people cancelling their cable to access various streaming channels and shows on their internet devices — is hardly a new trend. In fact, within five years, the number of online viewers is expected to pass the number of cable subscribers.

Go a step further. Netflix has more than 60 million subscribers; Comcast is the largest cable provider with 21.6 million, according to recent numbers from the National Cable & Telecommunications Association.

I am old enough to remember when I was 8 and I was the TV remote control for my dad, and I would walk to the TV stand (yes, we had TVs on stands, young people) and wait until he decided whether he wanted to watch 2, 5, 11 or the scraggly picture on 46.

Now there are forever more choices, options and winners of Emmys.

The more the merrier, but for TV execs, it's the more the scarier.

Contact Jay Greeson at