Fewer viewers return to telecast

The glitz and glamour were back, but some auds did not return to NBC’s telecast of the Golden Globes.

One year after the writers strike reduced the kudocast to a news-conference reading of winners, the Globes remained a solid performer — winning its three-hour block in key ratings categories — but settled for the smallest aud in its 13 years on NBC.

Ratings for awards shows in general have consistently drifted downward over the years, but the Globes this year may have been afflicted with the same problem as the Oscars and Emmys: Viewers at home can’t relate to the nominees if they haven’t seen them.

Both the Oscars and Emmys hit all-time lows with their most recent telecasts.

The big film winner on Sunday, “Slumdog Millionaire,” has made less than $35 million at the box office in nine weeks, and television winners “Mad Men” and “30 Rock” aren’t all that popular either.

Looking at the numbers, Nielsen estimates that Sunday’s three-hour telecast of the 66th annual Golden Globe Awards averaged a 4.8 rating/11 share in adults 18-49 and 14.6 million viewers overall from 8 to 11 p.m., winning two of its three hours among young adults.

Though up significantly vs. last year’s scaled-back hourlong version of the show (1.7/4 in 18-49, 6.0 million viewers overall), this repped the lowest scores for a regular ceremony since NBC began airing it in 1996. The previous low for a full-length NBC show came in 2005 (5.7 rating in 18-49, 16.85 million viewers).

Ratings for the Globes peaked in the final hour (5.1/13 in 18-49 and nearly 15 million viewers overall), with the kudocast seeming to pick up auds who were watching the conclusion of ABC’s “Desperate Housewives” and Fox’s special airing of “24.”

Opening the night for NBC, the “Golden Globe Awards Red Carpet Special” averaged a 1.8/5 in 18-49 and 7.7 million viewers overall.

Elsewhere on Sunday, the return of Fox’s “24” averaged a prelim 4.2/9 in 18-49 and 12.5 million viewers overall from 8 to 10 p.m., up a bit from the two-hour movie version of the series, “Redemption,” which aired in November. The drama, which hadn’t aired as a regular series since May 2007, aired another two hours Monday night and will settle into its regular 9 o’clock slot on the night next week.

ABC’s “Desperate Housewives” (prelim 5.2/12 in 18-49, 13.8 million viewers overall) topped the Golden Globes head to head in adults 18-49, but was on par with its previous week’s score, which repped a low-water mark for an original episode of the series. Still, it was the top-rated program of the night in the demo, well ahead of lead-in “Extreme Makeover: Home Edition” (prelim 3.4/8 in 18-49, 10.3 million viewers overall) and lead-out “Brothers & Sisters” (prelim 3.4/8 in 18-49, 9.1 million viewers overall).

Earlier in primetime on CBS, the conclusion of the NFL playoff game between the Pittsburgh Steelers and San Diego Chargers produced a projected 12 rating in adults 18-49 and more than 33 million viewers overall, leading into “60 Minutes” at 8 o’clock (prelim 4.0/9 in 18-49, 15.7 million).

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