I expected that Richard Armitage would not win the Critics’ Choice Award for Best Guest Actor. Sure, I hoped there would be a fluke upset, but the field was very competitive, including the marvelous Margo Martindale and Patti LuPone. Just check out their screen and stage credits to see the breadth of their award winning histories. (Martindale was terrific in The Good Wife, though in some ways, she more or less played Margo Martindale), and I confess to never watching Penny Dreadful.
And yes, it seems to be true, as those who watched the show know, and Amazing Grace, @Rashisama reported, that particular award was given out during the red carpet and not during the televised awards in the ballroom ( a shame for all those nominees, I think).
But – here’s why Richard Armitage was a winner.
First, this year the Critics’ Choice Awards combined TV and Film awards in one broadcast, which most likely increased viewership, as did the fact that it was televised on A & E ( and some of it’s affiliated networks), rather than on The CW.
Last year, the broadcast of the awards on the CW network garnered the highest ever audience viewership in its eight year history, with 1.96 million watching. The stats for this year’s combined award, on a more accessible network, should be higher.
This year, The Critics’ Choice Awards Twitter account had the top Nielsen Twitter TV ratings of any account, with 3,766 unique impression tweets and 16,421 general impressions ( tweets mentioning the awards) See here for details.
Yes, it would have been better if Richard Armitage or his category were mentioned in more of those tweets, and yes, he would have gotten more exposure if the awards were given out during the main show so that millions could see his photo and hear his name, ( which I understand was pronounced correctly, for once), and sure, it would have been better had he achieved an upset, but yet, there is no getting away from it – the exposure for him over the period that the nominees were announced and last night, when the awards were bestowed, is nothing to scoff at.
And the nomination alone, in such a strong field, brought his name to millions of TV lovers, who might not have known much about him before, not to mention industry folks who might take a second look.
Am I making lemonade out of lemons? I don’t think so. All in all, I would say that Richard Armitage was a big winner and he made a winning decision by taking the role of Francis Dolarhyde. And hey, we have the Fangoria awards to look forward to.