Monday, April 15, 2024

Ratings Low: Grammys Lose Around 2 Million Viewers from Last Year, Thanks to Scandal and Kobe Bryant Death


Even Alicia Keys’ fine hosting job  couldn’t save the Grammy Awards in the ratings.

Last night’s show drew around 16.5 million viewers, down from nearly 20 million last year and 19 million the year before. The numbers may increase in adjustment later today but they’re not good.

The key demo isn’t so hot either. Last year it was a 5.9. This year it’s starting out as a 4.7 and may inch up to around 5. But that means a million or so of the younger audience wasn’t there despite the winner of the night, Billie Eilish, being 18 years old.

The absence of Taylor Swift was felt: she made her point. Also, there were unnecessary segments like an irrelevant tribute to Prince by Usher (it was fine, but why now?) and to rapper Nipsey Hustle (the audience didn’t really know who he was).

The public scandal caused by ousted Grammy chief Deborah  Dugan no doubt turned people off. And then the tragic death of Kobe Bryant became an ABC News special at 10pm, when the Grammy numbers really nosedived.

The first hour got 18 million people. The second hour was 17 million. And the third hour dropped to 14 million. The show ran long, so many viewers on the East Coast probably didn’t wait up to see who won Best Album and Record. Of course, a lengthy musical tribute to the show’s producer, Ken Ehrlich, probably should have been cut to speed things up.

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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