Logies announce major voting shake-up
Logie Awards organisers TV Week have today announced a shake-up to this year's nomination process, and the addition of a brand new award to be presented at the 2020 ceremony in June.
This year's Logies will have a new, extended yet simplified voting process for each of the 12 public-voted 'Most Popular' categories, including the Gold Logie category so controversially won by comedian Tom Gleeson last year.
All networks will be invited to submit candidates for each of the Most Popular Awards, and for the first time this year, "a combination of TV ratings, Nielsen Social Content Ratings and the opinions of TV Week's panel of experts" will then be taken into account to determine the final nominees the public gets to vote for.
"We often make changes - last year we brought in 'Outstanding Reality Program' for the first time, to reflect what was happening in the industry," TV Week editor Thomas Woodgate told news.com.au of the new system.
"With these changes, we're looking at how we determine what is popular on TV today. It's a combination of things: TV ratings, how people interact with the show on social media, what the experts in the industry think. The combination of those three is really important … but the most important thing we're keeping is that the public get to decide the outcome."
This year will also see a simplified voting period, with voting for the most popular categories opening once nominees are announced on May 24 - and staying open all the way through to Logies night on June 28.
And that brand new category? 'Most Popular Australian Actor or Actress in an International Program,' created to acknowledge the success so many homegrown stars on US television (and perhaps even to lure some of them back to attend the ceremony).
"These changes have been made to improve engagement, but it won't affect the outcome on the night - that has nothing to do with us, it's down to the public," said Woodgate, who insisted the changes weren't a reaction to Gleeson's divisive Gold Logie win in 2019.
"Not at all. It's got nothing to do with who won any of the categories last year. At the end of the day, the public vote, and they chose their winner," he said.
"I love the fact the awards are decided by the public, and I'm not going to argue with who they decide. People call it a controversial win because Tom's speech made a lot of waves - but the public voted for him, and that makes him a popular person on TV."
Gleeson's win came after the comedian mounted a concerted - albeit very tongue-in-cheek - Gold Logie campaign. Seeing how well it paid off, has Gleeson inadvertently ushered in a new era of TV stars pushing false modesty aside to campaign hard before Logies night?
"Once nominees are announced on May 24, it's up to them to campaign. I'm sure people looking at Tom's win last year will be thinking about what a campaign can do - however, a campaign does not equal a win," said Woodgate.
"Last year, what Tom did helped him to win Gold, but other people have campaigned in the past and haven't won."