TV Guide Awards Showcase Money & Power


While the web is a more democratic entertainment platform than those of yore, star power and spending power still carry a lot of oomph. TV Guide, which canceled its online video awards ceremony and television special out of respect for the Writers Guild of America strike (a story we broke here), has named its award winners in a fanfare-free press release. And there’s not a little guy in sight.

screenshot.jpegIt’s no fault of the voters, who cast some 1.75 million ballots — the nominees were skewed towards established media outlets, so it’s natural that the winners would be, too. Even somewhat independent winners like Prom Queen (which took home best actress for star Laura Howard and her fake British accent) and Funny or Die (which won best comedy site) are known largely for their connections to Michael Eisner and Will Ferrell, respectively.

The notable exception is Sanctuary, the sci-fi show that won best original web drama series, beating out Sam Has Seven Friends, Prom Queen, and Lonelygirl15. To be fair, though, it was created by the team behind Stargate SG-1 and Stargate Atlantis and cost some $4.3 million to create. So, um, not exactly gritty indie.

NBC racked up the most virtual trophies, with six wins: Funniest web video (Dick in a Box), best TV show web site (Heroes) and best TV comedy webisode (The Office). It also won for best actor (Steve Carell, in The Office), best extra for the web (The Office‘s PSAs) and best animated video on the web (Pale Force).

Clark and Michael was a multiple award winner as well, for best original web comedy series and best duo. A side note: I watched all the episodes in one sitting over the holiday, and laughed my patootie off. I definitely recommend checking back if you didn’t watch the full 10 episodes when they were originally posted.

That’s not to say we have anything against people with big-media cred taking their talent online — their work often tends to be both popular and good! And maybe this stack of awards will give the WGA some additional ammo as it returns to the negotiating table today, proving that people appreciate online video. But if you’re looking for a playing field that’s a little more even, you might try the Winnies awards show being held in L.A. later this week. What would be really cool was if these two online video worlds came together — rather than evolving as two separate spheres.


Jeff Hayes

You completely failed to mention the single winner that has no corporate connections and is created by fans for fans. Star Trek: New Voyages is an independently produced Internet series created in 2003 by a group of fans, headed by Executive Producer James Cawley. The series is designed as a continuation of the original Star Trek, beginning in the fourth year of the starship Enterprise’s five-year mission.

All of the series’ episodes can be viewed at the Star Trek: New Voyages Web at

Star Trek: New Voyages stars James Cawley as Captain Kirk, Jeffery Quinn as Mr. Spock, and John Kelley as Dr. McCoy. Eugene Roddenberry Jr., the son of the late Star Trek creator Gene Roddenberry, serves as consulting producer.

Some of the original actors have returned to reprise their roles, including George Takei and Walter Koenig, as Sulu and Chekov, respectively. Members of Star Trek’s production crew have also contributed to the show, including writers D.C. Fontana and David Gerrold.

The production is based in upstate New York.


I think you need to investigate Sanctuary a little more closely. Whilst many of the people involved did at one time or another work on Stargate the company Stage 3 Media is NOT the people behind Stargate. They raised their money privately and have done a fantastic job getting to where they have. Please give credit where credit is due.


You failed to mention the win for Star Trek: New Voyages – a fan effort done for free and unsanctioned by CBS.

Frank Sinton

See you at the Winnies!

I met with TV Guide last February to see if they would include indie videoblogs in their Search. Their response: “we only want to search professional content”.

The walls are high in that garden. I wonder if sunlight is even getting in.

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