Want my best dead-solid-lock Emmy prediction? You won't watch. Viewers have been jumping overboard from this vacuous exercise in Hollywood narcissism for years, and lately it has looked like the last few minutes on the Titanic: Nielsen ratings have dropped by a third since 2005. The audience for last month's Daytime Emmy awards was barely half of what it was just last year.
No wonder. Giving out awards for last year's disastrous TV season is like New Orleans presenting a prize to a hurricane. The creative damage wreaked by the 2008 Hollywood writers' strike sent ratings and advertising sales plummeting and the contents of viewers' stomachs shooting violently up.
The Academy of Television Arts & Sciences actually tried to jazz up this year's show by eliminating eight writing and directing awards from the telecast. But the plan to present the awards at an earlier ceremony where several dozen other junk Emmys are handed out (You think I use the term ``junk'' lightly? Four words: ``Outstanding Voice-Over Performance'') were predictably derailed by Hollywood unions. Now the only hope is that Kanye West shows up. Go ahead, keep up the pretense that you care about the Emmys by reading my picks for the top awards in Sunday's Miami Herald.