Emmys viewership drops to a new low

Cast and crew of Succession, winners of Outstanding Drama Series at the 74th Primetime Emmys. PHOTO: AFP

NEW YORK - The Oscars, Grammys and Tonys all had viewership gains this year, reversing recent declines. But not the Emmy Awards.

Viewership for Monday night’s Emmys dropped to a record low, with 5.9 million tuning in to watch the ceremony, according to Nielsen.

That was about 1.5 million fewer than for last year’s ceremony, and it was lower than in 2020, when the mostly virtual ceremony garnered 6.1 million viewers, which had been the record low.

Part of the Emmys ratings drop can be explained by its Monday night time slot, which generally depresses viewership totals.

NBC broadcast this year’s Emmy Awards – the four major broadcast networks rotate airing the annual ceremony – and slotted it for a Monday night to avoid a conflict with the network’s Sunday Night Football rights. In both 2018 and 2014, the last two times NBC aired the Emmys on a Monday, viewership totals dropped from the Sunday night ceremony the year before.

NBC did not disclose the number of people who watched the Emmys on Peacock, which was also streaming the ceremony live.

Of course, part of the ratings problem could also be with the show itself.

Kenan Thompson, the Saturday Night Live veteran, hosted the affair, and reviews were decidedly mixed. The New York Times called the ceremony “forgettable”, and The New Yorker said the show “was ineptly written and paced”.

It probably did not help matters that the winners were a bit predictable.

Both Succession and Ted Lasso won for a second time, in the best drama and comedy categories, respectively, and The White Lotus overwhelmed the limited-series categories, taking home five awards on Monday night.

Meanwhile, Squid Game, the dystopian Netflix drama that exploded into an international smash hit, made history on Monday, picking up multiple drama awards.

Lee Jung-jae, the star of the series, took home the top acting prize and became the first person from a foreign-language show to win best actor in a drama. And Hwang Dong-hyuk won the drama directing Emmy.

This year’s Emmy Awards was a full return to the Microsoft Theater for the first time since 2019 (last year’s ceremony was held in a tent in downtown Los Angeles). Producers of the Emmys also put nominees at tables filled with bottles of wine and champagne, Golden Globes style, to keep the mood light, and keep viewers hooked.

This time around, it did not work. NYTIMES

Join ST's Telegram channel and get the latest breaking news delivered to you.