Emmys Sink to Record-Low Ratings

And the winner is not NBC. Monday’s 2022 Emmys, hosted by “Saturday Night Live” star Kenan Thompson, drew a 1.09 rating (call it a 1.1) in the adults 18-49 demographic and 5.9 million total viewers on NBC, according to Nielsen averages. Those are new record lows for the annual best-of-TV special.

Peacock also live-streamed the 74th Emmy Awards, although we do not have data for that platform’s performance. It likely wouldn’t make much of a dent, anyway — and definitely not a historical difference.

On broadcast television alone, last night’s show nose-dove 42 percent from the previous year’s key-demo ratings. Its overall viewership declined 25 percent from 2021. Those 73rd Emmy Awards, which aired on Sunday, September 19, drew a 1.9 rating in the key demo and 7.9 million total viewers on CBS, according to Nielsen. The 2021 Emmys were also live-streamed on Paramount+, though the streaming service didn’t report viewership numbers. It’s fine that they didn’t because we’re apples-to-apples here.

Monday’s 74th Emmy Awards aired (and streamed) live from 8 p.m. ET to 11:03 p.m. ET. The special was scheduled for Monday as NBC/Peacock has television’s number-one show, “Sunday Night Football,” in primetime on Sundays.

The big winners last night included “Ted Lasso,” “Succession,” and “The White Lotus.” “Squid Game” star Lee Jung-jae won the trophy for lead actor in a drama series and Jason Sudeikis claimed best actor in a comedy. Jean Smart won for outstanding actress in a comedy series; Zendaya won for drama. Find all of Monday’s winners here.

A little more Emmys-ratings history: The 2020 show suffered the prior all-time low of a 1.3 rating and 6.4 million total viewers on ABC — although that was not so bad, considering the Covid pandemic was in full swing.

In 2019, the Emmy Awards hit what was record lows at the time with a 1.7 rating and 6.9 million viewers on Fox. That year, the last “normal” one before COVID-19 came stateside, Nielsen numbers were down significantly from the last time NBC hosted the Emmys: 2018’s (Monday) telecast received a 2.4 rating and 10.2 million viewers.

The highest-rated Emmys on record were in 1992 on Fox, when the show scored a 9.8 rating among adults 18-49. That one was hosted by Tim Allen, Kirstie Alley, and Dennis Miller; CBS series “Murphy Brown” and “Northern Exposure” were the big winners back then.

The most-watched Emmy Awards were in 2000 on ABC, when 21.8 million viewers tuned in. That show was hosted Gary Shandling; the top awards went to NBC’s “Will & Grace” and “The West Wing.”

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