As reported, the Writers Guild of America strike has succeeded in shutting down the main ceremony after actors supported their union brethren and vowed not to cross a picket line to attend. Instead, NBC News will air an hour-long press conference at 6 p.m. on Sunday.
Recent entertainment industry award shows are so frequently accompanied by critic complaints and sagging ratings—so much pomp for so little circumstance—that it's tough not to see the strike-induced format as a liberation from overstuffed tradition.
The aside-from-the-obvious bummer for NBC: For the third time in a row this season, the network's scant premiere good-news ratings have been overshadowed. First, a strong premiere number for "Heroes" was drowned out by a silly Nielsen processing controversy. Then the steep "Bionic Woman" premiere ratings victory lap quickly stumbled when viewership crashed in subsequent episodes. Today, NBC is touting record-setting premiere ratings for "American Gladiators," but all eyes are on the statues and sequins.