You could debate through an entire three-hour epic whether the writers or producers or both lose in the decision to scrap the lavish Golden Globe Awards ceremony in favor of an hour-long press conference Sunday night. But there is a clear winner: Anyone who hates long, drawn-out award shows.
You don't have to worry about any half-soused star hijacking the microphone for an extended, incoherent speech. There will be no teary actress getting "played off" by a merciless orchestra. Fear not the inexplicable montage of movie clips from movies with titles that tangentially relate to global warming, or something as random. And the self-congratulatory spiel from the presenters . . . well, the Hollywood Foreign Press Association will probably still find a way to make that happen. But it will seem more in line with the proceedings, which reportedly will be a televised "press conference" where winners will be announced and it is hoped some actors may show up to accept their trophies.
The Golden Globes are, of course, the latest casualty of the strike by the Writers Guild of America, which has brought virtually all scripted television programming and movie making to a halt -- David Letterman's Worldwide Pants production company and, as of Monday, Tom Cruise's United Artists Films have reached independent agreements with the guild. The press conference, couched in between several live and recorded specials is an attempt to salvage something from the program that was originally supposed to constitute most of NBC's programming Sunday night.
There are a few questions for NBC News here, like, are you supposed to be the tourniquet for your entertainment division when its business goes sour? What's the deal with calling this a "press conference" when no other broadcast outlets can cover or carry it. (Print journalists will get in. Yay, us!)
It would be a shame if this is finally the year Johnny Depp, one of our Kentuckians on the Hollywood A List, finally won after seven previous tries but didn't get to savor the moment. I'd love to hear what Johnny, who is nominated for Sweeney Todd, would do for an acceptance speech. But now it looks like we'll have to wait for the Oscars, if even then. If writers and producers don't get back to the table and negotiate, that Feb. 24 ceremony is imperiled too.
But you know, after Sunday, we may decide we like this one-hour-and-done format.