UPDATE, 10:34 AM: Maybe it was the more than three and a half hour run time, maybe it was the surprise Hillary Clinton cameo and political stances than seemed to take up more airtime than the music or maybe it was the move to a January broadcast that hobbled last night’s Grammys. Regardless of the reason, somewhere the 60th annual Grammy Awards lost the groove – at least when it comes to ratings and viewers.
James Corden’s second kick at the Grammy host can last night saw 19.81 million tune into watch music’s supposedly biggest night. That’s down 24% from the final viewership of the February 12, 2017 Grammys and the worst the CBS aired ceremony has done since 2009.
Among the key demographic of adults 18-49, Sunday’s Bruno Mars topping Grammys snagged a 5.9. Coming off metered market ratings earlier today that projected an all-time ratings low, the demo result has fallen 24% from the 59th annual Grammys to hit that rock bottom result.
On the upside, last night’s Grammys was the most watched primetime entertainment show since last year’s Oscars. It also the second-highest sign-up day on record for CBS All Access, though some of that might have had something to do with a certain Star Trek Discovery shocker death last night. In the spirit of uncertainties, we do know that the Grammys are back in L.A. next year. No word yet if Corden will be returning with the show.
PREVIOUSLY, 6:19 AM: Back in New York City for the first time since George W. Bush’s first term and drenched in the politics of the Donald Trump era, last night’s Grammy Awards was rockin’ with multiple wins for a very non-political Bruno Mars and a very, very political Kendrick Lamar. The more than three-and-a half-hour- long CBS show also had an audio book audition cameo by Hillary Clinton (see below), a use or two of the censor button, a lot of U2 and Sting, a powerful Time’s Up speech by Janelle Monáe and an equally powerful performance by Kesha and a chorus of supporters.
Hosted by James Cordon for the second year in a row and continuing on Sundays for the House of Moonves, the 60th annual Grammys additionally had a discerning Dave Chappelle win his first award at the ceremony and a handful for country star Chris Stapleton to take home. Amidst a wide spectrum of performances at Madison Square Garden, Patti LuPone showed how a mic drop bridges generations, and there was a “Jay for President” shout-out from Lamar for a Trump scrapping and multiple nominated Jay-Z in the front row.
With a 12.7/21 in metered market ratings, the Recording Academy’s big hootenanny was also way down from the early numbers from the LA-based February 13, 2017 59th annual show. By way down, I mean a just over 20% decline from last year to what looks to be an all-time low for the ceremony.
Facing the midseason debut of The Walking Dead and even a bit more competition on the rest of the Big 4 than last night’s show, last year’s Adele dominated Grammys eventually claimed 26.05 million viewers and a 7.8 rating among adults 18-49 when the final numbers came in.
Year-to-year, those results were up a tiny bit in total sets of eyeballs from the 2016 Grammys, which were held on a Monday, but basically the same as the February 15 show of almost two years ago in the key demo. All of which had a bottom line of the 2017 Grammys being the most watched since 2014 but the second-lowest-rated since 2009 – with only 2016 going lower by half a hair.
Airing earlier than usual this year, at least there wasn’t any zombie apocalypse for the Grammys to worry about getting a bite from last night. The Walking Dead doesn’t return for the second half of its eighth season until February 25. CBS can also be pretty confident that they won the night against mainly encore heavy competition on the rest of the Big 4.
We’ll update with more Grammy ratings as we hear more. In the meantime, here’s past Grammy winner Hillary Clinton going for a double:
UPDATE, 8:40 AM: The final numbers won’t be in until later but it is not looking like power chords for last night’s Grammy Awards in the ratings.
Fast affiliate results have the James Corden fronted 60th annual biggest night in music coming in with a 5.4/19 rating among adults 18-49 and 17.64 million viewers between 7:30 – 11 PM ET. That means that last night’s show fell 26% in the key demo from the fast affiliates of the February 12, 2017 59th Grammys. Viewershipwise, the 60th Grammys shed over 5 million sets of eardrums from last year for what was a 23% drop.
Right now it looks like last night’s Bruno Mars topping ceremony is the lowest rated ever and the least watched since the 17.18 million who tuned in back in 2008. Overall, CBS snagged a 5.0/18 rating and 16.68 million viewers to win Sunday.
The 59th Grammy Awards ended up with a 7.8/22 rating and 26.04 million viewers.
As for what else was on last night, ABC’s double dose of Shark Tank fared pretty well. The 9 PM airing pulled in a 1.1/4, while the 10 PM showing drew a 1.0/4. The two Shark Tanks were down just a tenth from their final ratings of January 21.