(HOLLYWOODREPORTER) — Each year, I and several other Hollywood Reporter editors put together the roundtables that are a defining element of this publication’s awards coverage through the Emmy and Oscar seasons.
For those not fully versed in the arcana of Hollywood, the awards work like this: people produce a vast amount of film and television, some of it awful, some exceptional, and a whole lot in between. Getting a shiny statuette (either an Oscar or Emmy) tells the world which side of the spectrum they fall on; this is the ultimate validation that sets a winner apart from the pack. One award can change the trajectory of a whole career, save a network, and even resuscitate the fortunes of an ailing executive. Equally important, an award can mean millions at the box office, or in the winner’s pocket when his or her agent negotiates a new deal.
Awards are a year-around obsession here (“You have awards ceremonies, we have elections,” newsman David Brinkley once quipped to me), with a host of activity and attempts to game the system going on long before fans turn on the TV to watch celebrities walk the red carpet, be it at the Oscars or the Emmys.
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