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Emmys Viewership Drops to a New Low

The Oscars, Grammys, and Tonys all had viewer gains this year, reversing the recent declines.

But not the Emmy Awards.

According to Nielsen, viewership for Monday night’s Emmys fell to an all-time low, with 5.9 million viewers watching the ceremony.

That was about 1.5 million less than last year’s ceremony, and it was lower than in 2020, when the largely virtual ceremony drew 6.1 million viewers, which was the all-time low.

Part of the Emmy decline can be explained by the Monday night timeslot, which generally weighs down ratings. NBC aired this year’s Emmy Awards — the four major broadcast networks rotate while broadcasting the annual ceremony — and set it for a Monday night to avoid a conflict with the network’s Sunday Night Football rights. In both 2018 and 2014, the last two times NBC aired the Emmys on a Monday, viewership totals fell from the Sunday night ceremony the year before.

NBC did not disclose how many people watched the Emmys on Peacock, which also streamed the ceremony live.

Of course, part of the rating problem may also lie with the show itself. Kenan Thompson, the veteran of ‘Saturday Night Live’, presented the affair and the reviews were decidedly mixed. The New York Times called the ceremony ‘forgettable’ and The New Yorker said the show “was clumsily written and paced.”

It probably didn’t help that the winners were a little predictable. Both “Succession” and “Ted Lasso” won the best drama and comedy categories for the second time, respectively, and “The White Lotus” stunned the limited series categories, winning five awards Monday night.

This year’s Emmy Awards marked a full return to the Microsoft Theater for the first time since 2019 (last year’s ceremony took place in a tent in downtown Los Angeles). Emmy producers also seated the nominees at tables filled with bottles of wine and champagne, Golden Globes-style, to keep the mood light and keep the viewers engaged. This time it didn’t work.