Happy Days' Fonzie wins first award amid Emmy's all-time-low ratings

Henry Winkler
Henry Winkler

LOS ANGELES • Monday was a happy day for Henry Winkler (above) - The Fonz in hit 1970s sitcom Happy Days - when he won his first Emmy, for Best Supporting Actor In A Comedy Series for his role in the HBO show, Barry.

But it was not a happy night for NBC, the broadcaster of television's biggest event.

The three-hour Emmy Awards plummeted to all-time-low ratings, with an average of 10.2 million viewers, down roughly 11 per cent from the 11.4 million last year, according to Nielsen on Tuesday.

NBC tried to put a brave face on the data, noting that audiences for this year's Oscars and Grammys were down by wider margins.

The Emmys has been bleeding viewers for years, with television fans increasingly turning to social media to learn about the winners and watch the key moments at their leisure.

And the new host combination of Saturday Night Live stars Colin Jost and Michael Che did not seem to win over new fans.

Industry publication Variety called the show "lacklustre", with the hosts "failing to raise the energy of the room or even to claim the room as their own".

Hollywood Reporter critic Daniel Fienberg called it a "bloated Saturday Night Live episode" and slammed Jost and Che for a "flat monologue", calling them "ill-matched to the event".

Unlike at previous awards shows this year, #MeToo was mostly absent from acceptance speeches and even from the monologue - except for fleeting jokes by Che and Jost.

Che welcomed "the many, many talented people in Hollywood who haven't been caught yet". Jost joked that the scariest words a network executive could hear are: "Sir, Ronan Farrow is on line one."

The journalist exposed the sexual misconduct of film producer Harvey Weinstein.

The elephant in the room, Mr Les Moonves, went unmentioned. One of the most influential men in television, he stepped down as long-time chief executive officer of CBS this month after multiple allegations against him.

Also, unlike previous awards shows this year, United States President Donald Trump's name was not mentioned. There was no word if he had bothered to watch the show.

NYTIMES, AGENCE FRANCE-PRESSE

A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on September 20, 2018, with the headline 'Happy Days' Fonzie wins first award amid Emmy's all-time-low ratings'. Print Edition | Subscribe