BEVERLY HILLS, Calif. (AP) — Can there ever be too many Hollywood awards shows?
It seems that the answer is never, as the Britannia Awards are set to be presented Saturday night at the Beverly Hills Hotel and broadcast on BBC America the next day, just two weeks after the refurbished Hollywood Film Awards drew some of the same A-listers.
“There are more than 35 Hollywood awards shows on prime-time TV,” said Tom O’Neil, founder and editor of awards website GoldDerby.com. “They’re the ultimate reality show because we get to witness our cultural gods be winners and losers just like the rest of us.”
Networks like awards shows for the star-power they bring, and stars themselves love the accolades.
“They have money, power, good looks and the worship of the world, but deep down inside they crave a fake gold statuette that validates their work, gives them the approval of their peers and a place in the history books,” O’Neil said.
Networks also like award shows because like most reality shows, they’re relatively inexpensive to produce.
Handed out by the Los Angeles branch of the British Academy of Film and Television Arts, the Britannia Awards promise an all-star cast. Presenters including Julia Roberts, Sean Penn, Sigourney Weaver and Chiwetel Ejiofor will honor recipients such as Ben Kingsley, Kathryn Bigelow, George Clooney and Sacha Baron Cohen.
The awards were established in 1989 but the ceremony didn’t make its TV debut until last year.
“One of my goals was to increase the talent profile of the channel, and awards shows are a natural way to do that,” said BBC America general manager Perry Simon, who joined the network three years ago.
The ceremony has been modified to make it more TV-friendly, he said: “We’re adding more spontaneity to it, giving it a pace that’s more appropriate for a TV program and adding a red carpet pre-show.”
But at this award show, spontaneity has its limits — the honorees already know they’ve won. Yet that’s a good thing, Simon says: “They can just reach for the Champagne and have a good night.”
As we’ve learned from the lively Golden Globe Awards over the years, that Champagne helps add to the audience appeal of such starry events.
“When the setting is a banquet and liquor is being served, often the festivities get a little juiced up,” O’Neil said. “The superstars … are goofing off and goofing up and being chummy with each other.”
Connecting with BAFTA members is another bonus, O’Neil said: Many are also members of the motion picture academy, which hands out Hollywood’s most coveted award, the Oscar.
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