UPDATE, 8:20 AM: The cast and creators of Hadestown and The Ferryman are probably still shining their new Tony Awards but CBS might just want to put Sunday’s primetime telecast on the shelf after hitting an all-time low in the final numbers.
Easily trounced by Game 6 of the 2019 Stanley Cup finals and slightly adjusted from yesterday’s fast affiliates, the 73rd annual Tony Awards delivered 5.40 million viewers and a 0.8/4 rating among adults 18-49.
That’s the first time that Broadway’s biggest night has gone below an audience of 6 million. In harder math, it is also a 15% drop in sets of eyeballs from last year and a 20% pratfall in the key demo from the 72nd annual Tony Awards – which has to hurt on more than two levels.
Meanwhile over on the rink, the Boston Bruins stymied the St. Louis Blues clinching their first NHL Championship won the night for NBC among the 18-49s with a 2.0/10.
Though CBS took Sunday’s primetime overall thanks to a strong 60 Minutes (7.5 million viewers/0.6/03 in adults 18-49), Game 6 of the 2019 Stanley Cup had 6.5 million viewers. That’s a Game 6 record for NBC with a 36% rise from 2017’s series clincher when the Pittsburgh Penguins topped the Nashville Predators.
Bring on that Game 7 on Wednesday, we will have a champion by the end.
PREVIOUSLY, JUNE 10 AM: Hadestown and The Ferryman were the big winners on Broadway’s big night on CBS Sunday, but when it comes to the ratings, the Boston Bruins and NBC were the real victors.
Hosted by a more muted than expected James Corden, the 73rd annual Tony Awards saw Anaïs Mitchell’s musical Hadestown snag eight wins including Best Musical, while the Sam Mendes-directed and Jez Butterworth-penned Ferryman snared Best Play, Best Direction and two other trophies. And there was that historic win for Ali Stroker for her Oklahoma! performance.
Yet, lacking the spotlight of a Hamilton and on a night that also saw the season finale of Billions on Showtime and the Season 2 opener of Big Little Lies on HBO, the show heavy on song and dance took a hit in the ratings. With a 4.3/8 in metered markets, the 2019 Tony Awards are down just more than 10% from the 2018 Tony Awards of June 11 last year.
In fact, at least in early numbers, the Tony Awards look to have fallen to a multi-year low. In non-time adjusted fast affiliate numbers, last night’s ceremony was an all-time low with a 0.8/4 rating among adults 18-49 and 5.47 million viewers. However, as is common with live events, expect those figures to change in final results.
Even with a Best Leading Actor-winning Bryan Cranston and his Network in the mix, plus a constant flow of barbs against Donald Trump, part of that slump was surely the absence of a Broadway blockbuster like the lightening in a bottle of Lin-Manuel Miranda’s multi-genre musical.
The other reason might have a more slightly icy foundation.
It could have all been over for the 2019 Stanley Cup, with the hometown St. Louis Blues poised to win their first championship trophy in franchise history. But then the Boston Bruins decided otherwise, and Game 6 saw Brad Marchand, Charlie McAvoy, and the boys from Beantown slap down the Blues 5-1 last night on NBC.
Slamming a night-winning 4.8/9 into the ratings net, the victory forces a defining Game 7 on Wednesday back in Boston. That’s the first Stanley Cup Game 7 since 2011, when the Bruins fought off the Vancouver Canucks to claim their first championship trophy in an agonizing 39 years.
There was bit of record breaking off the puck last night too.
The overnight result is the highest rated non-clinching Game 6 for NBC in the 13 years the net’s sports division has aired the Stanley Cup.
There’s no 2018 comparison, but Game 6 to Game 6 last night’s rink drama was dead even with the deciding matchup of the 2017 Stanley Cup Finals, when the Pittsburgh Penguins beat the Nashville Predators 4 games to 2. The hockey game faced the Tony Awards then too – and beat them then too.
We’ll update later with final Tony Awards and Stanley Cup ratings as they come in, as well as the rest of what was on primetime. In the meantime, check out the fast affiliate ratings here for all of the Big 4 and the CW: