VH1 becomes Critics' Choice


VH1 is the new home of the Critics' Choice Awards.

The network said Monday that it has inked an exclusive three-year deal with the Broadcast Film Critics Assn. to broadcast the awards show starting with the 13th annual edition, airing live Jan. 7 from the Santa Monica Civic Auditorium.

The Critics' Choice Awards, founded in 1995, annually honors achievements in filmmaking and is touted as the first major awards show of the season. The BFCA claims that it consistently picks nominees and winners that go on to garner more Oscar nominations and wins than any other of the movie awards shows, last year picking 30 of the 35 nominees and six of the Oscar winners in the top seven categories, including best picture, acting, directing and writing. The show also is attended by a range of high-profile talent.

VH1 executive vp and GM Tom Calderone said the network approached the BFCA knowing that the broadcast rights were available.

"(After attending this year's ceremony), we thought, 'This show feels so VH1, the fact that our brand is all about music and pop culture and movies and celebrities,' " he said. "This just feels right. ... Here's the bottom line: Entertainment, A-listers and VH1, it all goes in the same sentence."

VH1 is planning to expand elements of the show online at VH1.com and on VH1 Mobile to give the show a year-round presence, Calderone said. Exclusive video footage from the event will include celebrity interviews and behind-the-scenes footage. The network said that further announcements about multiplatform plans will be announced closer to the event.

This year, the Critics' Choice Awards aired on E! Entertainment Television (though not live), following a two-year run on WB Network. Before WB, the show aired for four years on E! The first five ceremonies were not televised.

Said BFCA president Joey Berlin: "VH1 is a pop-culture network, and we felt it was a perfect fit with what they do and we do and what we want to do together. ... It is important to us to be live, and to have all the promotional muscle of MTV Networks with multiple airings is all very exciting."

The BFCA represents more than 200 television, radio and online film critics in the U.S. and Canada.