EXCLUSIVE: TV Week this year reduced the number of entries networks could submit for the 60th Logie Awards voting.
This year there are under 70 Actors & 70 Actresses hoping to secure a Silver Logie nomination in the Popular Awards. In recent years sometimes they have nudged 100 each.
For the 60th event on the Gold Coast networks were limited to 10 Actors, 10 Actresses & 15 Presenters each, forcing them to focus on high profile talent and leaving talent & fans confused and disgruntled.
There are also caps on shows in each Popular category, such as 5 titles per network for Most Popular Drama, resulting in bizarre voting choices for fans.
None of the Studio 10 cast are listed for TEN. Nine has Delta Goodrem, Boy George, Kelly Rowland & Sonia Kruger for The Voice but not Seal. ABC’s Virginia Trioli is listed but not Michael Rowland for News Breakfast while nobody from The Secret Daughter is listed. ABC infamously snubbed Craig McLachlan and The Doctor Blake Mysteries but submitted Nadine Garner.
Exacerbating the problem is this year’s extended eligibility date of March 31st, due to the July 1 ceremony on the Gold Coast. This sees Bachelor in Paradise and Show Me the Movie! on the voting lists, neither of which have aired yet.
TV Week said in a statement, “After feedback from previous years, the decision was made to reduce the entries in the Most Popular categories to improve the user experience and promote greater engagement with the voting process.”
Yet there are rumblings within the industry over the reductions, with some talent and fans expressing confusion on social media. Whilst TV Week says the list is up to the networks, the networks are only following Logie‘s set limits.
One industry source told TV Tonight, “The limit on the number of Logies entries networks can provide for ‘Most Popular’ acting categories is pretty hard to understand. They unreasonably force broadcasters to choose between often equally-excellent and popular actors and actresses in major roles.
“They likewise prevent TV viewers from voting for some of their favourite performers, in turn hurting audience enthusiasm for the Logies as a whole. And the drop in permissible number of entries, compared with previous years, has not been clearly explained.
“The limits on the number of programs broadcasters can enter in ‘Most Popular’ program categories is even tighter, and likewise forces broadcasters into what can seem, for Logie voters and program makers alike, quite arbitrary choices.
“Broadcasters are unhappy, and so are some of our biggest performers and producers.”
Another industry source said, “For a number of different reasons, this round of Logie voting and the actual awards night is in unchartered territory. The restriction on the number of nominees allowed in the new system (this year) hasn’t helped sort out the concern.”
When voting was via magazine coupons, readers had the option to submit an “Other” choice, but it vanished from online voting years ago.
With its impressive 60 Year legacy the Logies have always evolved and adapted, from replacing defunct categories, to introducing phone & online voting and staging Live broadcasts. With the responsibility comes a need to respond to industry concerns. This year’s message loud and clear is that reducing the number of candidates is unfair to networks, talent and fans alike.
As a third source noted, “Local drama isn’t coping too well in this constantly changing world of streaming and declining TV audiences, so the last thing we should be doing is making it harder for actors to break through.”