The Playgoer: This just in: People Watched the Tonys

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Tuesday, June 13, 2006

This just in: People Watched the Tonys

"After two years of stagnant ratings, the Tony Awards telecast managed to draw in more viewers. According to preliminary Nielsen ratings, there were about 1.3 million additional viewers this year — 7.8 million, up from last year's 6.6 million — an increase of around 20 percent. The awards show started the night in first place for its time slot then slipped to second, behind the N.B.A. finals."

- From today's Times. The convention wisdom that Oprah herself was able to singlehandedly grow the viewing audience by bringing along just a fraction of her audience rings true. But who knows.

I also agree with Campbell Robertson's pronouncement in the article that "Only in the awards universe can a show be said to have the best music and story, but still not be named the best musical." Drowsy Chaperone in this respect is this year's Urinetown, which lost "Best Musical" to that year's Drowsy Chaperone, Thoroughly Modern Millie. Following?

The discrepancy in this case is best accounted for by the fact that Frankie Valli couldn't be nominated for "orginal score". And that at least a few Tony voters, when faced with the question of whether the best "book" belonged to a jukebox musical or a pastiche musical, simply closed their eyes and randomly poked.

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