EXCLUSIVE: A rethink of the Logie Hall of Fame could be on the cards for 2020, to allow for more than one inductee.
With the awards now in their 61st year, TV Week is increasingly faced with the challenge of inducting one TV name from a long list of candidates including a posthumous award for those who have passed in the last 12 months (a rule currently prevents later induction). That has seen Peter Harvey and Brian Naylor inducted at events following their passing.
Amongst those lost since the last ceremony, Bill Collins, Mike Willesee and Sam Chisholm, each is already a Hall of Famer, but as TV grows older so too will the list of worthy contenders.
TV Tonight, which previously mounted a campaign for more women in the Hall of Fame asked TV Week editor Thomas Woodgate if it was time to consider 1 man, 1 woman and 1 show as annual inductees?
“You raise a very good point,” he replied.
“We are going to find it difficult to really keep up with people who should be included in there. Every year after they finish we sit down and look at what we can do better next year. This year we added an Outstanding Reality Program category.
“Maybe Hall of Fame is one we are rapidly approaching that needs an overhaul.”
“Maybe Hall of Fame is one we are rapidly approaching that needs an overhaul. I think you raise a very good idea and wouldn’t mind raising it for 2020 because I think you’re right, it’s very difficult when you only have that one opportunity each year to induct someone. How are you going to do it every year.
“And it’s not just with people passing away, it’s people who are still here with us.
“We don’t want to wait until people pass away. We want to be able to see them shine in the spotlight while they are still here.
“I think you could be on the money and we should look at it for 2020.”
This week Woodgate has been frantically juggling the moving parts ahead of Sunday’s broadcast:
talking to individual teams, talking to networks about RSVP lists, red carpet accreditation for media, facilitating talent, talking to stakeholders, hotel reservations, liaising the consumer event on Friday, an industry event on Saturday and the crescendo that is the awards themselves.
“You have to sit back and just let the event happen.”
“Once the red carpet is underway for me as Editor it is a surreal moment. You have to sit back and just let the event happen. You have to trust everyone is in the right place and knows what they’re doing. Then it just flies by and before you know it the Gold has been announced and it’s time for a glass of champagne,” he explains.
“Pretty much the entire team is on the ground for photo shoots, our creative director, lots of reporters, our video team, digital team -because we’re integrating our content more than ever now. It’s a huge operation.”
“Everyone said it gave the Logies a breath of fresh air.”
Changes from 2018 to 2019 will be subtle after the debut Gold Coast event was deemed a success by industry guests.
“Everything went so well. Moving something as big as the TV Week Logie Awards to a new location was a huge undertaking. Lots of eyeballs were on us to see how we would go, and whether it would live up to the legacy of previous TV Week Logie Awards. I’m confident that it absolutely did that,” says Woodgate.
“Everyone said it gave the Logies a breath of fresh air.
“I’m very happy with our list of presenters and we have some fantastic entertainment.
“The red carpet, which is always so hectic, we hope to move a little bit quicker this year.”
With The Star Pavilion Ballroom having a lower capacity than Crown’s Palladium, it’s always a challenge to seat everybody who wants a ticket.
“The guest list challenge doesn’t impact on talent attending, but unfortunately sometimes it means some people miss out. We try to be fair each year in spreading invites throughout the industry. This year we have far more production houses than we were able to last year, because we’ve squeezed a couple more tables in,” he continues.
“People don’t tend to mind too much, even at Crown, that tables are crammed in. Everybody just wants to be involved and have a good time.”
Other changes over the years have seen voting entirely online/ digital meaning buying TV Week is no longer a necessity. So if mag sales are not essential, how does publisher Bauer Media benefit from the night?
“It’s a wonderful branding moment for TV Week,” Woodgate insists. “It elongates the brand beyond being merely a magazine / TV guide. We’ve been synonymous with it for 61 years and it’s something we are extremely proud of. We have no intention of relinquishing or changing that.
“Bauer loves Television mags.”
“Bauer loves Television mags. They have an array of them in Germany and the UK. They are big fans of the TV Week Logie Awards.”
Yet there is always criticism, especially surrounding nominees. I ask what it feels like to own the nation’s biggest awards night at the same time as copping continued negativity. Australia has a love / hate relationship with the Logies.
“I think you’ve summarised it perfectly. There’s definitely a bit of love / hate with the TV Week Logie Awards. To be honest I don’t know why. I know that the Australian public love Television and they love to be vocal about it. So the TV Week Logie Awards offers them that opportunity with the Most Popular categories,” he maintains.
“But you can’t please everyone, obviously. There are going to be people who want to discuss the nominations and I have no problem with that. If we’re debating and talking about Australian television then for me, the TV Week Logie Awards are doing their job.
“I’m always happy with the Most Popular because the public have spoken. So who am I to question what the public want?
“I don’t mind a healthy debate and constructive criticism.”
“I don’t mind a healthy debate and constructive criticism. But sometimes you see things reported that might have an anti-Logies agenda. To be honest I don’t lose any sleep over it. The positive feedback we get from fans, networks and media far outweighs the negative.”
So chatter around all things Logies is a positive? All publicity is good publicity?
“I think it is. Let’s talk about the nominees. Why not?
“But to a lot of negative people I say ‘Did you vote?’ And if you haven’t voted then I don’t think you can really complain about the outcome.”
“It’s incredibly important for us we retain the confidentiality and anonymity for the judges”
Woodgate is giving nothing away on the secretive jury process. They comprise industry professionals, mixed for each panel, who view nominee content submitted by networks.
“It’s incredibly important for us we retain the confidentiality and anonymity for the judges to give them that freedom to be honest and open,” he says.
Why is Comedy so poorly represented, present only in Popular and not Outstanding? Length of broadcast, at over 20 categories is part of the consideration.
“It’s something we look at every year. Of course it could be in Outstanding because it is so well-produced, but we always feel like it’s natural home is in Most Popular because it’s something the public are so invested in,” he suggests.
“We also have to look at what’s happened over those 12 months.”
There are also no plans to return the awards to the earlier time of April.
“I think if you start moving it around the voting period changes, the date changes, people get confused. I think it makes sense to leave it. I don’t see that changing in the next few years.”
“Of course there are a lot of people who are worthy and don’t make that list.”
Can the initial voting period offer more transparency, to avoid a cap on names submitted by networks? Woodgate doesn’t believe so. The online counting requires a field for every name, unlike the old days of blank paper coupons.
“With an online voting process if you were to have everyone available it would be almost impossible to vote,” he insists.
“Of course it’s difficult and the networks have an extremely tough job. Of course there are a lot of people who are worthy and don’t make that list. But again we take network feedback on board, good and bad.
“We’re not here to work autonomously. I make a very big point to the networks that TV Week is here to work with them as an all-inclusive event.”
TV Week Logie Awards Red Carpet 7pm / Ceremony 7:30pm Sunday on Nine.