UPDATE, 10:01 AM: Winners like Game of Thrones’ Peter Dinklage, The Marvelous Mrs. Maisel’s Rachel Brosnahan, Seven Seconds’ Regina King, Barry’s Henry Winkler, Westworld’s Thandie Newton, The Americans‘ Mathew Rhys, The Crown’s Claire Foy and The Assassination of Gianni Versace: American Crime Story’s Darren Criss may be making shelf space for their new trophies after celebrating last night but for NBC, the 70th Primetime Emmys maybe a hangover that’s going to be hard to shake.
The final numbers from Nielsen are in and the Colin Jost and Michael Che hosted show pulled in 10.172 million viewers and a 2.4 rating among adults 18-49. – a new all-time low for TV’s biggest night
While not as bad as the falls that the Oscars and Grammys have seen in recent years, that’s still down 4% in the demo and 11% in sets of eyeballs from the previous low of last year’s Stephen Colbert hosted and Sean Spicer cameoing Emmys, held on a Sunday. Falling to painful numbers, the Lorne Michaels executive produced 70th Primetime Emmys are also face planted 34% in viewers from the Don Mischer EP’d 66th Primetime Emmys.
That August 25 2014 ceremony was the last time the Comcast-owned net had the Emmys and was also on a Monday, so NBC could still keep its Sunday Night Football schedule on track.
Obviously, last night’s Emmys didn’t face SNF but they did go up against ESPN’s Monday Night Football – and the result wasn’t a winner for NBC, to put it politely, as you can read below.
Fox – the Emmy ball is in your hands for next year. Hold tight.
PREVIOUSLY, 6:48 AM: Even with the return of blockbuster Game of Thrones to the competition and without having to face Sunday Night Football for the first time since 2014, the Emmys continued its ratings downturn last night.
Snagging a 7.4/13 result in metered market ratings, the NBC’s Michael Che- and Colin Jost-hosted 70th Primetime Emmy Awards fell to an all-time low Monday.
In the early metrics, the Lorne Michaels-executive-produced and Saturday Night Live-alum-thick ceremony was down 10% from last year’s Stephen Colbert-fronted show of September 16, 2017 on CBS.
With big wins by HBO’s GoT, Amazon’s The Marvelous Mrs. Maisel and FX’s The Assassination of Gianni Versace: American Crime Story, last night’s three-hour show also fell a hard 32% in metered market ratings from the last time NBC had the show on August 25, 2014, also a Monday.
Down itself from the now-dizzy heights of the 2013 show, the 2014 Emmys marked the last time the broadcast did better than 12 million viewers, with 15.59 million sets of eyeballs watching the Seth Meyers-fronted ceremony.
In the final numbers, last year’s Emmys snared 11.8 million viewers and a 2.5 rating among adults 18-49. That translated into matching the previous viewership low of the Jimmy Kimmel-hosted 2016 Emmys and a new low among the key demographic. Those record lows, based on the first set of numbers we are looking at today, appear very likely to be eclipsed this year.
Even in a small-screen environment where the likes of the Academy Awards and the Grammys have experienced up to 20% ratings drops of late, the early numbers for the Emmys are surprising.
Yes, the hosts’ opening monologue had a self-aware crack about the “hundreds watching at home,” which seems more prophetic than gallows humor this morning. On the whole, despite a rather marvelous marriage proposal by winner Glenn Weiss onstage, the show itself never really caught fire via the underwhelming Che and Jost and an unwelcoming, disjointed approach. Still, unlike past Emmys on other networks, this year had a distinct advantage with the lack of the behemoth of the NFL right in its broadcast face.
While easily beating ABC, CBS and Fox’s Inside The Manson Cult: The Lost Tapes last night to have its best non-news or sports dominated Monday since December 14, 2015, NBC and the Emmys were still actually up against some NFL — on cable. Back for a second official week of the 2018-2019 season, ESPN’s Monday Night Football last night saw the big-market Chicago Bears rip into the 2014 Super Bowl champion Seattle Seahawks.
That primetime matchup on the Disney-owned cabler scored an 8.2 metered market rating with results from 56 markets. The Bears’ 24-17 win was up 11% from the Emmys on NBC and up 15% from the average of ESPN’s MNF Week 1 doubleheader. Year-to-year, last night’s Week 2 MNF slipped 6% from the comparable game of September 18, 2017, when the Detroit Lions beat the New York Giants 24-10. For the record, that Week 2 MNF of the 2017-2018 NFL season did not have an Emmy telecast as a rival, so the year-to-year slide is negligible.
Putting that ball in play and waiting for the ratings dust to settle, we’ll update with more Emmy numbers throughout the day.
In the meantime, here’s a couple of telling stats: Last night’s Emmy awards peaked in the 8:45-9 PM ET time slot with a 7.8 metered market rating, while last night’s MNF peaked in the 9:30-9:45 PM ET period with a 9.1 result. That means, long before the big categories like Outstanding Drama, Outstanding Comedy and Outstanding Limited Series were announced, viewers were clicking off and tuning out the Emmys – not a winning strategy.