It was clear from the very first moments of the show, and now we have the quantitative ratings evidence that last night’s Emmycast was a stinker. In adults 18-49, the show dropped 12% from last year, which was nothing to cheer about ratings-wise, to an average 3.8 rating/9 share, according to Nielsen prelims. All those stars and the Emmys couldn’t even muster a 10 share? Wow.
In viewers, the three-hour ABC telecast averaged 12.2 million, down 6% from last year’s 13.1 million. Viewership declined as the night went on and the most high-profile trophies were handed out. It peaked from 9-9:30 p.m. at 13.2 million, but by 10 p.m. it was down to 12.1 million, and by 10:30 it was 11.9 million. That’s rejection folks.
With all due respect to Tom Bergeron, Heidi Klum, Howie Mandel, Jeff Probst and Ryan Seacrest, the idea of using five reality show hosts was a stinker, as were most of the show’s scripted bits. And as the night wore on, the producers’ haste at playing winners off before they’d barely gotten on the stage in the effort not to go long made it all play even worse. There was much complaining about it back stage — justifiably so.
Sure, there’ll be a lot of pontificating about low ratings generated on a night when the big series winners are shows that are watched by teensy-tiny slivers of the viewing aud, NBC’s "30 Rock" and AMC’s "Mad Men." But anyone who was there or watched it live heard the whoosh of channels changing about six minutes into the telecast and that nonsensical bit from the five hosts having "nothing" prepared. Frankly, even opening on a preachy note with Oprah Winfrey lecturing about the "power" of the medium was a little downbeat.
It’s all water under the bridge to nowhere now. Let’s chalk this one up to experience and try to do better next year.