Glee star Lea Michele made her first on-stage appearance since the death of co-star/boyfriend Cory Monteith at Fox’s Teen Choice Awards last night. It was mixed ratings result: the trophy show suffered one of its smallest crowds in years but did snag more teens. Instead of 2.4% of the country’s teen viewers – last year’s haul – Sunday’s Teen Choice Awards logged 2.8%. Fox did not promote Michele’s appearance in advance but it was widely known in social media so it’s a surprise that she didn’t move the needle more in terms of overall eyeballs. Fox attributed the teen boost in its morning ratings report to performances by One Direction and Demi Lovato, The X Factor’s sole surviving non-Simon-Cowell judge. But, overall, early stats suggest the trophy show clocked only about 2.6M viewers, which would mark the first time since at least 2006 the show has logged under 3M viewers.
Accepting her trophy for best actress in a TV comedy series and wearing a necklace with Cory’s name on it, Michele said the actor “was very special to me and also to the world and we were very lucky to witness his incredible talent, his handsome smile and his beautiful heart.” A large Monteith image loomed behind her as she spoke, and it filled the screen after she walked off stage. The show was littered with nods to Fox’s musical dramedy and its deceased star; accepting Glee’s win for the year’s best comedy series, two other cast members told the audience, “We know that Cory would have wanted us to dedicate this award to you guys.” And, fellow Glee star Darren Criss co-hosted the awards bash this year, with Pretty Little Liars’ Lucy Hale.
If there’s one thing the American public expects, it’s that when a pop star dies suddenly, Hollywood turns out and weeps in style, with neon lights around its heart. But, Sunday’s trophy show’s ratings results were are a far cry from back in February of 2012, when nearly 40 million people turned out for that year’s Grammy Awards ceremony, to watch the music industry lay its heart at the feet of its fallen heroine Whitney Houston, who had died dramatically the previous afternoon in a Beverly Hills hotel bathtub, while music acts played their latest hits and LL Cool J prayed. That has been the recording academy trophy show’s second-largest audience in its history, and its biggest crowd in nearly three decades. CBS wound up with the night’s biggest primetime crowd — in total viewers and 18-49, though its programs were delayed by nine minutes, owing to coverage of the PGA Championship. That means final CBS stats could be in for some adjustments when final numbers arrive tomorrow.