UPDATE, 10:10 AM: Despite airing on a Monday — and in August and right before the Labor Day weekend — the 66th Primetime Emmy Awards bagged an average of 15.6 million viewers, the second-biggest overall crowd for the franchise in eight years. It was behind only last year’s 17.8 million, which had benefited from a Sunday scheduling, a September airdate, and a high-rated NFL lead-in. On the other hand, that CBS Emmycast had to compete against a highly rated NBC Sunday Night Football game (Chicago/Pittsburgh) which averaged 20.5 million viewers and a 7.7 rating in the demo.
Anyway, excluding last year, it’s the top Emmys in total viewers since the Sunday broadcast on August 27, 2006, also on NBC, which averaged 16.2 million viewers. In the demo, the Emmycast’s 4.2 rating equals the second-highest Emmy ratings in seven years.
The overall crowd of 15.6 million makes this the most-watched night on any network since ABC’s Academy Awards on March 2. That said, that Oscarcast clocked 35.2 million, next to which Sunday’s Emmy ceremony pales. And, on that subject, expect this afternoon to be spent ruminating in re whether the Emmys ratings were helped by all those big-name movies stars in attendance, having been nommed here and there — and considered by many press walk-ups, to a sure thing in their categories. Expect some of that talk to consider whether that will ever happen again after Matthew McConaughey, Woody Harrelson and Julia Roberts all went home without Emmys, or whether big-screen stars have, to paraphrase Prof. Higgins, concluded their oxygen burns the lungs of the TV crowd, who will, at future Emmycasts, have to breathe the stuffiness that suits them.
The Emmys topped the combined Big 4 competition in primetime, with a 4.2 rating edging the combined 4.1 of Fox (1.8), ABC (1.2) and CBS (1.1), while the 15.6 million in total viewers beat the combined total of 13.8 million for CBS (5.0 million), Fox (4.6 million) and ABC (4.2 million).
Versus the last Emmys that did NOT follow an NFL lead-in — the September 23, 2012 telecast on ABC — this year’s coverage was up 18% in total viewers (15.594 million vs. 13.255 million) and 8% in 18-49 (4.2 vs. 3.9).
The trophy show was televised live to all time zones, and some Western markets also carried an encore telecast immediately following the live coverage.
PREVIOUS, 8 AM: Because metered market numbers at least minimize damage done by press reports that seize on non-time-zone-adjusted fast nationals:
The 66th Primetime Emmy Awards (10.9.18 in households from 8-11 PM in the 56 markets) last night clocked the second-highest Emmy rating in eight years in metered market household ratings, trailing only last year’s telecast. Minus last year’s Emmycast, which benefited from that big NFL lead-in — instead of the traditional mind-numbing Red Carpet Orgy Of Who Are You Wearing — it was the best metered market showing for an Emmycast since the 2006 Emmys on NBC earned a 13.1 on Sunday, August 27.
Predictably, the Emmy ceremony, in which Breaking Bad was again named the year’s best drama and Modern Family again crowned best comedy, dominated the night, topping the combined primetime averages of CBS (3.3/5), ABC (3.2/5) and Fox (3.2/5). It’s NBC’s highest-rated Monday in metered-market households, excluding Olympics, in seven years — since the January 15, 2007 Golden Globe Awards. The Emmy show finished within 10% of last year’s Emmy telecast, which had aired on a Sunday in September, like god intended (10.9/18 vs. 12.1/19 from 8-11:15 PM on Sunday, Sept. 22, 2013 on CBS).
Versus the most recent Emmys that had NOT benefited from an NFL lead-in like last year’s, yesterday’s trophy show telecast was up 14% (10.9/18 vs. 9.6/15 from 8-11 PM on Sunday, September 23, 2012 on ABC).
The unscripted Monday lineup held well against atypical competition from the Emmys. Fox’s Mastechef (2.0 among adults 18-49 in the fast nationals) was even with last week, while Hotel Hell (1.6) was up a tenth. ABC’s Bachelor In Paradise (1.3) and CW’s America’s Next Top Model (0.4) also was on par. Airing against the conclusion of the awards show on the East Coast, the 10 PM dramas were up and down, with ABC’s Mistresses (0.9) rising a tenth from last Monday and CBS’ Under The Dome (1.4) slipping a tenth.