Emmys power ABC

Telecast ratings highest since 1986

NBC may have been the big Emmy winner Sunday night, but ABC’s telecast of the show has made the Alphabet web a big winner, too.

According to preliminary national results from Nielsen, the three-hour Emmycast averaged a 14.2 rating and 23 share in homes, the third-best rating in the last 14 years. And in total viewers — a stat favoring more recent years due to population gains — the 21.6 million viewers ranks the show as the most-watched since 1986, when NBC’s telecast drew 35.7 million.

The Emmycast delivered significant ratings gains vs. last year on Fox, including 23% in total viewers (21.6 million vs. 17.5 million) and 16% in adults 18-49 (8.7/21 vs. 7.5/19). In the latter key demo, it’s Emmy’s best perf since the 1994 awards show on ABC (9.1/23).

The Alphabet estimates that 46 million viewers watched at least some of the telecast. The net has now aired the three most-watched Emmy shows of the last seven years.

Biggest score, not surprisingly, came from Los Angeles, which gave Emmy a 24.3/38. In Gotham, it did an 18.5/27.

Sunday’s kudocast, hosted by Garry Shandling and featuring big wins by NBC’s “The West Wing” and “Will & Grace,” may have benefited from airing on the network of “Who Wants to Be a Millionaire.” The quizzer has given ABC a strong presence on Sundays, and it’s unlikely that any other net could have attracted as large an audience if it had to compete against the quizzer, which airs in the key 9 o’clock hour.

The Emmycast averaged 22.2 million viewers from 9-10, about on par with “Millionaire’s” average for the last two months (22.3 million). Interestingly, unlike most awards shows that peak in the final hour, this year’s kudocast peaked in the 9 p.m. half-hour (22.6 million), when many viewers may have tuned it expecting to see the quizzer.

Despite the boost this year, television’s big night still can’t match the most recent scores of the Grammy Awards on CBS (27.8 million) or the Golden Globes on NBC (22.1 million). Of course, the Academy Awards on ABC (46.3 million in March) remains the year’s most-watched kudocast.

For the night, first-place ABC averaged a prelim18.4 million viewers and a 7.3/19 in adults 18-49 — its largest Sunday audience since May 7 and its best Sunday demo score since March 26 (Oscars). Fox, with a strong football overrun and solid numbers for the umpteenth broadcast of “Speed,” placed second (11.8 million, 5.6/14).

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