Golden Globes: Tina Fey and Amy Poehler Generate Highest TV Ratings in Years

Golden Globes Tina Fey Amy PoehlerGolden Globes 2013: Best TV ratings in six years

The Golden Globes 2013 telecast, starring Tina Fey and Amy Poehler as smartly and tightly dressed co-hostesses, boasted the Golden Globes ceremony's best television ratings in six years. That seems to indicate that Tina Fey and Amy Poehler were bigger TV attractions than Ricky Gervais. (Image: Tina Fey and Amy Poehler, probably making fun of James Cameron – by way of Kathryn Bigelow – at the Golden Globes 2013 ceremony. © HFPA / Hollywood Foreign Press Association.)

Broadcast last Sunday evening on NBC, the 70th Golden Globes lured an estimated 19.7 million viewers in the United States, up 17 percent from last year. In recent years, Golden Globes 2013 trailed only the 2007 ceremony, which was watched by slightly more than 20 million viewers – on a (less audience-friendly) Monday. This year's Golden Globes were also a relative hit with the 18-49 demographic, up 28 percent from last year and averaging a 6.4 rating, according to data found at Variety.

Do bigger movies mean bigger TV audiences?

Now, some insist that bigger nominated movies mean bigger audiences for televised awards shows. But if that were necessarily the case, Golden Globes 2010 – the year James Cameron's Avatar won Best Picture - Drama – should have been the most-watched Golden Globes ceremony of the last millennium or so.

The winner at the 2007 Golden Globes ceremony, I should add, was Alejandro González Iñárritu's Babel, which grossed all of $34.2 million in North America. The highest-grossing Best Picture (either Drama or Comedy / Musical) that year was Martin Scorsese's mafia thriller The Departed, which went on to collect $132 million domestically. This year's Best Picture - Drama, Ben Affleck's Argo, has to date grossed $111.86m; the Best Picture - Comedy or Musical, Tom Hooper's Les Misérables, has taken in $119.6 million.

Golden Globes: Seven decades old

The Golden Globes have been around since 1944, the year Paul Lukas was named Best Actor for Watch on the Rhine and Jennifer Jones was named Best Actress for the blockbuster The Song of Bernadette, which also earned Henry King Best Director honors and was selected as the previous year's Best Film by the members of the Hollywood Foreign Press Association.

However, it would take the HFPA decades for their Golden Globe statuettes to become an awards-season force to be reckoned with, but they've undeniably gotten there. Though badmouthed, ridiculed, and derided by many, including some in the film industry (see Robert De Niro joke below), the Golden Globes are now not only well known worldwide, but are in and of themselves boosters of both box office returns and, despite Best Picture nominations to the likes of The Tourist, "prestige." (More on their box office boost in a follow-up post.)

Anyhow, the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences, whose Oscar telecasts have been losing viewers at an alarming rate, might want to consider boosting up its TV ratings by way of clever, humorous hostesses such as Tina Fey and Amy Poehler. Though Seth MacFarlane seems to be a good step in the right direction.

* Robert De Niro, being funny while accepting the Hollywood Foreign Press Association's Cecil B. DeMille Award: "I'm sorry more members of the foreign press aren't with us tonight, but many were deported right before the show along with most of the waiters. And Javier Bardem."

Tina Fey and Amy Poehler Golden Globes 2013 photo: © HFPA / Hollywood Foreign Press Association / Golden Globes 2013.

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