Despite the glitz and glamour, red-carpet awards shows appear to be losing their shine. The average American may tune in for 35 hours of TV a week, but Emmy viewership has fallen 38% since 2000, to a paltry 13.5 million in 2010, according to a Nielsen report. A sun on the horizon? This year's host is Glee star Jane Lynch, whom Emmy exec producer Mark Burnett called his "first—and only—choice." And Lynch, who nabbed last year's statuette for Outstanding Supporting Actress in a Comedy, is a surefire ratings magnet: Her guest appearance on Nickelodeon's iCarly attracted 5.9 million viewers—twice its average audience.
A version of this article appeared in the September 2011 issue of Fast Company magazine.