Inside the judging process as this year’s 64th Logie Awards get a major overhaul

Organisers are currently sifting through applications for judging jobs for this year's Logies.

Organisers are currently sifting through applications for judging jobs for this year's Logies. Photo: Seven

For the first time in the 64-year history of the Logie Awards, the categories and the judging process of the best shows and stars have been “rejigged” for the Australian television industry’s night of nights.

Organisers admit they want to “evolve” the awards, reduce repetition, and keep audiences “engaged” both in the room and in living rooms.

Last month, TV Week announced a thinning down of categories, admitting they are “always looking at ways to ensure we are keeping up with where the industry is at”.

Now, after a national call-out for current TV and screen industry employees to apply for judging jobs, an unnamed working group made up of an events management company (and the public relations firm which manages the Logies) will spend the next few weeks sifting through applications, which closed on March 15.

It’s “a significant departure from previous years”, says the Sydney Morning Herald, as “the Logies will allow current employees of major broadcasters, including free-to-air networks Nine, Seven and Ten, as well as streaming platforms like Netflix, Stan, Binge or Prime Video, to apply to become part of the judging panel”.

“Until this year, employees of major networks or streaming platforms were not eligible to be judges.”

So will we know who scores these coveted … unpaid jobs, or will they be a best-kept industry secret?

And how will the judging work?

Broadcasters were asked to each put forward 20 employees, with an “even number of judges per broadcaster” making up the final panel,” TV Week editorial director Amber Giles tells The New Daily.

“Television is a specialised industry and to attract the best of the best you need to engage with those working in the field, those who are creating what audiences are watching now.”

With the judging panels growing 25 per cent year-on-year, she says they’re also “not wedded” to a final number.

A who’s who of the entertainment industry in Australia attends the Logies. Photo: Getty

‘No scope for bias’

So how can they ensure the judging process will be transparent?

“We will have checks and balances in the backend to ensure representatives from broadcasters aren’t marking their own homework with perfect scores or their competitors poorly when it is clear a show or personality meets the criteria for a fair and appropriate score,” Giles explains.

“The aim is to engage with a wider range of screen experts to bring even greater gravitas to the panel and they will be judging factual information like audience numbers as well so there will be no scope for bias on that front.”

Giles said successful applicants will have access to all uploaded shows and they won’t need time away from their regular full-time jobs.

“The weekends earmarked in the judging period are there to let people know they have time to login in and out of the voting portal at their leisure across that period of time.

“But it doesn’t take weeks to judge.

“A few days at most. Judges do not get paid.”

Tom Gleeson Logies

Gold Logie nominee Tom Gleeson in 2018. Photo: Getty

Voting  didn’t ‘need to evolve’ because of Tom Gleeson

Giles puts to bed the suggestion the awards needed to evolve because of the ABC’s Hard Quiz host Tom Gleeson who ran interference in 2019.

“The voting system didn’t need to evolve because of Tom Gleeson. Tom ran a really successful campaign and the people at home voted for him.

“He also hosted the biggest entertainment show on the ABC at the time and had a viewing audience behind him,” she said, adding previous winners like Hamish Blake, Samuel Johnson and Karl Stefanovic all ran campaigns.

“This year’s changes wouldn’t stop any of them from doing the same again if they were nominated,” she adds.

‘Always learn, adapt and evolve’

TV Week editor Rod Lever and Southdown Press boss Warren Bednall, launched the Logies in 1958 after deciding television achievements should be recognised by an awards system.

The late Graham Kennedy named the Logie statuette in honour of John Logie-Baird, a Scottish engineer who developed the television.

Giles says TV has changed so much in recent years that it is important the awards night doesn’t stagnate.

“We met with all stakeholders after last year’s show and one thing that was consistent across the feedback was that the night can be repetitive.”

Speaking on FM radio last year, colleague James Brayshaw said first-time Logies host Sam Pang would ‘bring levity as it’s a long night‘. Photo: Seven

After an 11-year hiatus after comedian Shane Bourne hosted, The Front Bar co-host and radio broadcaster Sam Pang was chosen to host what has long been considered the worst job in television.

“Wasn’t he great!” says Giles.

This year’s host “will be announced closer to the date”.

The 64th TV WEEK Logie Awards will be held in Sydney on August 18

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