Emmy Hell Postmortem: The Only Thing Worse Than the Hosts Were the RatingsFallout is almost always a certainty in the corrosive cosmos of awards-show aftermaths, but rarely do we spend the next morning sealing our windows as painstakingly as we have since the end of the Emmys. From the botched opening — which even Jeremy Piven was actively (and publicly) scrubbing from memory less than 30 minutes into the show — to the nightmarishly accelerated climax, this year's Emmycast found creative new ways to alienate pretty much everyone in three hours or less. You essentially know where we stand on the damage scale, but others were not so lucky; keep your oxygen tanks and penicillin handy for a brisk survey of the casualties.· Early reports indicate the Emmys suffered their worst ratings ever: Roughly 12.2 million viewers tuned in, a 7% percent drop from 2007 and about 100,000 fewer than the previous low in 1990. Explanations range from primetime NFL competition to the Kimmel lead-in getting blown out by 60 Minutes, but let's be honest: If Katherine Heigl wasn't coming, why would America? · No one was more disappointed than beat writers at the Nokia Theater, who waited in vain for winners who never arrived. The culprit: The long elevator detour to the press room, as opposed to last year's nearby tent at the Shrine. But, reports Variety: "There's no question that the buffet laid out for the hungry scribes was far better than any Emmy nosh in years." · As such, the Academy's generosity paid off in karmically complimentary reviews like USA Today's:
The lesson ABC's Sunday slog seemed to be striving to impart is that the Emmys are a joke — and a bad one at that. From Josh Groban's musical montage to that monumentally terrible, time-wasting quintet — Ryan Seacrest, Tom Bergeron, Heidi Klum, Jeff Probst and, in particular, a dithering Howie Mandel — the show seemed designed to convince us that we shouldn't be watching. Not just the Emmys, mind you, but television itself.
· Dry cleaners around town were inundated this morning, taking in hundreds of soiled tuxedos belonging to broadcast brass terrified over cable's incursion into their big night. The name "Bryan Cranston" is the new Brown Note. · Remember that bomb scare to which Eva Longoria alluded in her interview with Ryan Seacrest? False alarm! It was a BB gun in some attendee's trunk, forcing everyone to get out and walk when their limos couldn't approach the red carpet. · Making matters worse, non-celebrities attempted to use the celebrity metal detector. This from the director of John Adams, who couldn't even outmatch Jay Roach in his own category. Pot, meet kettle. [Photo: Getty Images]