Wednesday, June 19, 2024

Kennedy Center Fail: Ratings Drop From Last Year Despite “Star Wars” Tie-In with George Lucas Tribute


It’s no fault of the new Kennedy Center Honors producers. But their ratings were down by 300,000 viewers in the key 18-49 demo last night, from last year’s show.

It was last year’s show that brought the ousting of George Stevens Jr, who started the show 37 years ago, and his son Michael.

The new major donor of the Kennedy Center, David Rubenstein of the Carlyle Group, decided he wanted new, hipper people presenting the program. So he got rid of the Stevenses unceremoniously. (Michael Stevens became gravely ill right after last year’s award show. He died a few weeks ago at age 48.)

Now the ratings are in for last night’s telecast. They are lower than the year before– a 0.9 vs. 1.2 in the demo. Last night show’s drew 7.5 million viewers total. Last year, the Kennedy Center Honors had a total of 9.25 million viewers. The show lost the lead in from an “NCIS” rerun of 10.4 million.

Think of this: the program featured George Lucas and “Star Wars,” a movie that is making $30 mil a day and has already crossed $1 billion worldwide. You’d think there would have been some interest– and certainly not a huge loss.

The show was very good, albeit for the weird non tribute to the Eagles. But something got lost in the translation.


Roger Friedman
Roger Friedman
Roger Friedman began his Showbiz411 column in April 2009 after 10 years with Fox News, where he created the Fox411 column. His movie reviews are carried by Rotten Tomatoes, and he is a member of both the movie and TV branches of the Critics Choice Awards. His articles have appeared in dozens of publications over the years including New York Magazine, where he wrote the Intelligencer column in the mid 90s and covered the OJ Simpson trial, and Fox News (when it wasn't so crazy) where he covered Michael Jackson. He is also the writer and co-producer of "Only the Strong Survive," a selection of the Cannes, Sundance, and Telluride Film festivals, directed by DA Pennebaker and Chris Hegedus.

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