Thursday, July 18, 2024

Emmy Ratings: Virtual Show Plummets By More Than a Million Viewers from Last Year to Lowest Ever, a 39% Decrease


The virtual Emmy Awards, hosted by Jimmy Kimmel on ABC, were a ratings disaster. The show started with 5.8 million, dropped to 5.2 million and ended with just 4.2 million viewers in the final hour. This means at least 1 million viewers left at 10pm and didn’t bother to see the end of the show.

Last year the the Emmys on Fox garnered 6.9 million total viewers, which was down 32% from 2018 (10.2 million total viewers) to a new record low. The 2019 Emmys, which were host-less and also on a Sunday, declined 33% in ratings among adults 18-49, falling from a 2.4 to a 1.6.

That’s a 39% decrease from last year to the final hour this year.

This is no surprise. It wasn’t that the production values were poor. They were fine. And despite Kimmel and Jennifer Aniston almost burning down the Staples Center, the show improved as it went along. Some bits worked, others didn’t. But overall it was almost a relief to not have all the backslapping that comes with a regular awards show.

But the Emmys have faced the same problem for years: the shows they honor are not on broadcast TV, so the Emmys audience is commensurate to cable shows ratings. The Emmys have become the Cable ACE Awards. “Schitt’s Creek” never had many viewers despite its popularity. So the whole first hour of the Emmys devoted to that show didn’t help. It was unclear by 10pm who was still watching aside from entertainment press and nominees.

Will the other awards shows this year face the same apathy? We’re in a perilous situation, to be sure.

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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