TV gong glory - even if you're not on TV

I KNOW it's September, but we're actually at the start of the year for one of America's greatest institutions … television.

The American broadcast television season runs from September to June. It was felt we're all too busy frolicking in summer but cable channels have destroyed that theory. Yet, here we are, a slew of new programs being flung at us by the old school networks.

The Fox network got the ball rolling this week - quick early tip: don't expect to see a comedy called Dads on your TV screen - calling it awful is too kind.

Before the other networks reveal theirs, we have to suffer through the most boring of America's three major awards shows, the Emmys. It's America's Logies - without the ridiculously rigged public voting.

The Oscars are the historic flagship - all grandeur, pomp, and glamour. The Grammys realised they hand out too many awards, so they focus on live performances. The Emmys are dull because they deal with the same nominees every year. If you gave Meryl Streep an Oscar, and she did the same role for the next five years - what do you do?

So this weekend all the TV stars will dress up, show up, and watch most of last year's winners get another statue. And most of those winners are TV programs on ''elite'' channels such as HBO - which you have to subscribe to on a monthly basis. The gap between critic and fan favourites is as wide as it is in cinema, which means the Emmys spend way too much time rewarding shows watched by 72 people - all of whom have internet blogs - making these shows (I'm talking to you Mad Men) seem way more popular than viewer numbers suggest.


But hey - at least this year the Emmys changed it up a bit by nominating House of Cards - a series that didn't even air on television. Yep - the Academy of Television Arts and Sciences nominated a series that is only available online. What's next, an Oscar nomination for an iPhone video?

I'm all for new distribution models. But giving them traditional TV accolades is like our forefathers honouring a car in the annual best horse awards.

Never fear, I have a suggestion for making the Emmys less dull. If you win, you're disqualified for any future nomination for that specific role/series. Winning two Emmys for the same role is weird.

I wish I had a simple solution for all the terrible new TV shows we're about to suffer through… but that's a whole other column.

Tim is a writer, TV producer and proud former Canberra resident who has lived in Los Angeles since 1997. Twitter @timschildberger