Primetime Emmys hold steady, but no big bump in the ratings

NBC’s broadcast of this year’s Primetime Emmy Awards averaged a 4.1 rating among adults 18-49 on Sunday night — down a touch from last year’s CBS perf (4.2). On the flip side, the kudocast attracted 13.5 million viewers, up 9 percent from last year’s 12.3 million.

Last year vs. this year comparisons are almost apples vs. oranges, of course. This year’s telecast aired in August, when TV usage is lower; last year’s ran on Sept. 20, the night before the TV season began.

But this year’s telecast was helped by a double run on the West Coast, as the Emmys aired live at 5 p.m. and then again as a repeat at 8 p.m. Because the commercials were the same in both airings, the ratings were cumed.

Meanwhile, competition was more intense in 2009 (vs. an in-season NFL game) — although this year’s competish was nothing to sneeze at, either (a pre-season NFL matchup, as well as original eps of “Big Brother,” “True Blood” and “Mad Men”).

In the end, the fact that the Emmys held steady makes it a wash for the TV Academy, which can still at least note that the Emmys continued an upward trend in total viewership.

More from Variety ratings guru Rick Kissell here.

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