CBS' Daytime Emmys telecast fails to draw auds

A return to a major net and a switch to a higher-profile night failed to provide the 37th annual Daytime Emmys with much of a ratings bounce Sunday.

The two-hour CBS kudocast from Las Vegas settled for a 1.1 rating/3 share in adults 18-49 and 5.6 million viewers overall from 9 to 11 p.m., trailing the lackluster competish on the Eye’s rivals among adults under 50 but prevailing over ABC, NBC and Fox in total viewers, according to early Nielsen national estimates.

While an improvement over last year’s historic low when the show shifted to the CW (0.8/2 in 18-49, 2.7 million viewers overall), it’s the third-smallest Daytime Emmys aud on record (it bested the 5.4 million who tuned in two years ago on ABC).

CBS had hoped to increase viewership for this year’s show by shifting it from its longtime night of Friday, where it had aired for 11 straight years before it played there on CW last August. Show had fallen out of favor at the Big Three, which had typically alternated airing the kudofest until about five years ago, when NBC opted out of the rotation.

ABC and CBS both declined to air the Daytime Emmys in 2009, but the Eye took a chance on it again and hoped to draw a wider swath of viewers by moving the show to Las Vegas and adding more entertainment. Sunday’s telecast included a tribute to Dick Clark and “American Bandstand,” as Simon Cowell and Ryan Seacrest were among those feting Clark and Chubby Checker. Tony Orlando and Marie Osmond took to the stage to sing their yesteryear hits on his show, Regis Philbin served as host.

The Daytime Emmys faced lackluster competition on the broadcast nets Sunday, including ABC’s firstrun summer dramas “Scoundrels” and “The Gates,” which dropped off from their modest bows of the previous week.

According to Nielsen prelims, “Scoundrels” averaged a 1.0 rating/3 share in adults 18-49 and 3.6 million viewers overall — down 23% from its premiere and landing fourth in demos among the broadcasters.

The dropoff was even steeper for 10 p.m. drama “The Gates” (1.0/3 in 18-49, 3.2 million viewers overall), which had earned a 1.5/5 demo score in its debut.

NBC and Fox both aired mostly repeats Sunday. Among programs taking aud away from the broadcasters on Sunday were HBO’s hot “True Blood,” BET’s annual “BET Awards” and Sunday’s marquee interleague baseball game between the Los Angeles Dodgers and New York Yankees.

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