The Playgoer: Tony Winner Takes All

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Wednesday, June 13, 2007

Tony Winner Takes All

Both NYT's Campbell Robertson and NYP's Michael Riedel have the numbers from Sunday's Tony fallout.

"Spring Awakening," of course, enjoyed a big surge Monday at the box office (and on the all important online box office ever since 8pm EST Sunday night). But sadly, none of the other nominated shows who really, really needed it got any kind of Tony "bounce" and thus such strong shows as "Grey Gardens," "Radio Golf" (which was still an underdog favorite for Best Play to the end), and "Company," which has been on life support a long, long time now, but one would think that knockout rendition of "Being Alive" by Raul Esparza on the broadcast would have done something. (Maybe would have helped if he didn't lose a charity vote to Niles--I mean David Hyde Pierce.)

As for the ratings, says Robertson:

The Tony ceremony, broadcast on CBS, came out bruised once again in the ratings battle, but you must consider what it was up against — you don’t really have to ask at this point, do you? According to preliminary Nielsen ratings, the ceremony drew a meager 6.24 million viewers, down nearly 20 percent from last year (and a lower number than most episodes of the reality casting show “Grease: You’re the One That I Want”). If the final numbers agree, they would make this the lowest-rated Tony broadcast ever.

Still, CBS came out on top Sunday night among the networks — but that was largely thanks to a strong ratings performance by “60 Minutes.”

I have no idea if in the bubble of network television that still counts as a "win." American Theatre Wing and the League helped their chances for renewal next year by coming in just on the three-hour mark. But I'm not even sure it's worth it for either party anymore. After all, with the ol' "Rabbit-Ears" finally being forced into extinction and everyone being forced to buy cable, there goes the audience who watched the three networks only because they had no choice.


Anonymous said...

Aren't the TONYS at this point just a long "come travel to New York" extravaganza for the NYC Department of Tourism?

Tom said...

Boiling the awards show down to their "please consume our product" essence, the Tonys are still light years ahead of the Oscars, Emmys, or Grammys.