“Even Susan Lucci has won more awards than we have,” said a visibly dejected Brian Lamb, C-SPAN’s founder, referring to the soap opera actress who only won a Daytime Emmy Award after the entertainment world took pity on her after 19 previous nominations. “This is embarrassing.”
The 2014 Golden Globe Awards, presented Monday night in Los Angeles, highlighted the work of many in the entertainment industry, both in front of and behind the cameras, but seemed to go out of its way to neglect America’s premier institution of televised governmental proceedings.
“It’s one thing to be nominated and not win,” said Lamb, “but to not even get nominated in the ‘Televised Governmental Proceedings’ category? That really hurts.”
C-SPAN’s newest offerings, including “American History TV,” “First Ladies: Influence and Image: Season Two” and “U.S. Senate ”— a spin-off of its coverage of the U.S. House of Representatives – each was thought by industry insiders likely to best longtime rivals, like the BBC’s coverage of British Parliament and the Canadian Broadcasting Corp.’s coverage of Canadian Parliament.
“Our U.S. Senate coverage is every bit as good as PBS’ ‘Downton Abbey’ – maybe better,” said Lamb. “Our cast is every bit as aged as those creaky old monarchists across the pond, and the Senate’s script is not only just as boring and directionless as theirs but it doesn’t have that cloying British accent.”
“Clearly, Hollywood’s Foreign Press Association thinks more of BBC than of us – which is weird, since C –SPAN is known widely as the thinking man’s BBC,” he added.
Insiders suggest that C-SPAN’s candidacy for recognition by the Hollywood Foreign Press Association this year fell victim by the federal government shutdown last October, when judging took place. “With nothing on air,” said one HFPA official, “there was nothing for us to judge.”
To ensure a win next year, Lamb and others said they hope to convince screenwriter/director Lena Dunham to bring her award-winning series “Girls” to C-SPAN2.
“We’ve already got a juicy storyline,” Lamb said. “One of the ‘Girls’ is elected to the Senate and, through a variety of romantic misadventures, really livens things up in Congress’ upper chamber. We can’t lose!”