Tuesday, July 23, 2024

Tony Awards Ratings Drop 15% from Last Year After Miserable Opening Turns Off Viewers


The Tony Awards ratings are in and they are bad.

The early numbers indicate this year’s show dropped 15% from last year. The total so far looks like just 3.5 million viewers, down from 4.1 million last year.

What happened? The opening number with Ariana DeBose singing an original song was a disaster. You can’t open the Tony Awards with a song no one knows, and a bad one at that. The Tonys have to open with “There’s No Business Like Show Business” and have big stars right at the top. De Bose is a talented singer and dancer, but this was a huge turn off.

Things went downhill from there. Alicia Keys and Jay Z aren’t even in “Hell’s Kitchen,” but they performed — from the lobby of the Koch Theater! Because the stage wasn’t big enough!

You can’t blame the director or producer of the Tonys — they weren’t saddled with this theater. The American Theater Wing and the Broadway League have been unable or unwilling to return to Radio City Music Hall. So the production was stuck with this relatively small space.

There was also a lot of ill will this year coming from both organizations. There was no room for press. They obviously insulted the NY Post’s grande dame Cindy Adams of the NY Post. She actually attacked the Tonys early last week. She began her column with this death sentence: Coming up — the Tonys. Going to sleep — the audience.

But the Tonys don’t learn from year to year. They get worse, not better. They won’t take my advice, but next year back to Radio City, get a big glamorous host, open with someone everyone at home knows and is accessible. And don’t bite the hand that promotes you!

This was the opening America didn’t want or need:

Roger Friedman
Roger Friedmanhttps://www.showbiz411.com
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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