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Emmys: Nice To Get, But Do They Matter?

The Emmys kicked off the awards season last night--worst dressed lists are already up and starlets have begun collecting the season's "gifting suite" loot. The Emmy 'prizes' were doledout to some of the usual suspects--"The Sopranos" team collecting the gold statuettes for 'top drama series', best writing and directing.

But there were some surprises--NBC, HBO and ABC tied with six awards each. "30 Rock" got the prize for best comedy and James Spader and Sally Field getting best actor and actress awards for ABC's "Boston Legal" and "Brothers and Sisters" respectively.

But do the Emmys matter? Sunday night's telecast had its smallest audience since 1990. The telecast averaged 13.06 million viewers, an 18% drop from last year's show, which aired before Labor Day.

And winning an Emmy doesn't translate to big ratings or big ad dollars. Just like Fox's "Arrested Development," which won an Emmy for best comedy in 2004, NBC's "30 Rock" may have won the critics and the Emmy votes: but it's not helping the show's ratings. And while "Arrested Development" is considered one of the best comedies of the past five years (I'm enjoying watching it on HDNet these days) it was cancelled by Fox because of low ratings.

FYI: NBC is owned by GE , which is also the parent company of CNBC.

Questions? Comments? MediaMoney@cnbc.com

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  • Working from Los Angeles, Boorstin is CNBC's media and entertainment reporter and editor of CNBC.com's Media Money section.