It’s déjà vu all for awards season 2022

LOS ANGELES — Talk about déjà vu. The first major televised award show of 2022 was postponed. It’s disappointing, entertainment journalist Scott Mantz said, but on-trend with the past couple of years, especially with the recent surge of the contagious omicron variant.

What You Need To Know

  • The Critics Choice Awards, which were set for Jan. 9, were postponed due to the omicron variant of COVID-19
  • No word yet on a new date
  • The Golden Globes are set for Jan. 9; no word yet if they will be impacted by COVID-19
  • The Palm Springs International Film Festival awards gala was canceled due to COVID-19

“It’s not surprising that these awards shows are getting canceled or postponed. What is surprising is how fast this all happened,” Mantz said.

Mantz, who reviews films and is a member of the Critics Choice Association, has been covering Hollywood for 20 years. Spectrum News first spoke to him a few weeks ago about the excitement ahead of the Critics Choice Awards.

Now, the tone is a bit different.

“I was certainly relieved when the word came through a couple days later that it was postponed to a later date. It was the smart thing to do. It was the right thing to do,” he said.

Yet to be seen is how the omicron variant will impact other award shows, but Mantz said at the end of the day, the timing of these shows leading up to the Oscars doesn’t matter. A Critics Choice or Golden Globe award handed out weeks or a month later still holds the same prestige, so no issue there.

“The biggest impact here right now is disappointment. Some of these awards shows were just a couple weeks away,” he said.

So disappointment aside, will they have an audience if and when postponed awards shows return? 

Award show viewership has been on the decline for years. Add to that some public disinterest in celebrity as the political divide grew over the last few years.

Will award shows ever make a big comeback? Have they lost their allure?

“In recent years, there’s been a big gap between the types of movies that make a lot of money at the box office and specialty films that don’t do great at the box office but do great at the Academy Awards. I think what the pandemic did was it increased that gap and it increased the speed at which people will decide which movies they’re going to see in theaters and which ones they’re going to wait for streaming or not see at all. Those are the films that usually get nominated and win Academy Awards,” he said.  

Not to mention there is so much content out there — there are too many streaming services to count nowadays — plus an oversaturation of celebrities on social media. Seeing a star on the red carpet at an award show is not as exciting as it used to be, but if anything can change all this, Scott said, it is the Oscars.

“The big thing the Academy Awards needs is a return to honoring movies that most people will have seen. When you have a movie like ‘Nomadland,’ when you have a movie like ‘Parasite,’ which are great films but not blockbusters, people are not going to tune into the Academy Awards to see how those movies do because a lot of people haven’t even seen them,” he said.

Until Oscar nominations come out, or as Mantz said, a guidebook to public interest in the show, there is no knowing if Hollywood’s biggest night will bring back big numbers or if it also will be another déjà vu.