Primetime Emmys Draw Worst Ratings of All-Time

Andy Samberg Emmys Seth Myers
Buckner/Variety/Rex

Sunday’s telecast of the “67th Annual Primetime Emmy Awards” has drawn the show’s smallest audience on record — 11.9 million viewers — according to preliminary national estimates from Nielsen that are adjusted for time zone differences. It was down nearly 4 million viewers from last year’s show on NBC (15.6 million), which aired on a Monday in late August and didn’t have to face an NFL game.

The previous recorded total-viewer low for the show was 12.3 million in both 1990 (its first year on Fox) and 2008 on ABC. The 1974 Emmys on ABC likely drew a smaller audience, but a total-viewer count wasn’t available, according to Nielsen; that year’s show was seen in 6.85 million homes, which is the smallest tune-in of the past 60 years. The total-viewer high in recent years remains the 17.8 million in 2013 on CBS, and the largest audience on record was the nearly 36 million who watched NBC’s telecast in 1986.

The Emmys are merely the sixth most popular awards show of the past year. They trail the Oscars on ABC (37.3 million), the Grammys on CBS (24.8 million), the Golden Globes on NBC (19.3 million), the CMAs on ABC (16.3 million) and the ACMs on CBS (16.0 million), while they come in ahead of the AMAs (11.6 million) and Billboard Music Awards (11.2 million), both on ABC.

In adults 18-49, Sunday’s preliminary national average of 3.6 is down 14% from last year’s show on NBC as well as Fox’s most recent airing of the kudocast four years ago (both 4.2). It’s believed to be the lowest rating to date for the Emmys. The prior low on record came in 2008 on ABC (3.8).

The Emmys averaged an 8.7 overnight household rating/14 share from 8 to 11 in the metered markets — down 20% from last year’s 10.9/18 for NBC on a Monday in late August. Fox should have benefited from a highly rated NFL overrun, but its Dallas-Philadelphia late-afternoon game was something of a clunker and ended more than 20 minutes before the start of the Emmys. Postgame show “The OT” averaged roughly an 11 household rating in the overnights.

NBC’s “Sunday Night Football” was the dominant program of the night with a 16.3/27 in the overnights, down only slightly from last week’s season opener between the New York Giants and Dallas Cowboys. It’s the second highest-rated Week 2 game in the 10-year history of “SNF” on the Peacock.

Sunday’s Emmys were dominated by HBO, whose “Game of Thrones” set a record for most wins in a year. The premium cable network won for best drama, comedy, movie and miniseries among its 14 victories on Sunday — more than all other networks combined.Other winners included Jon Hamm and Viola Davis for lead actor and actress in a drama series, and Jeffrey Tambor and Julia-Louis Dreyfus as actor and actress in a comedy series.

In social media on Sunday night, roughly 6.9 million people globally had 14 million interactions related to the Emmys on Facebook. The most buzzed-about moment was Viola Davis winning for lead actress in a drama series, and the the states with the highest engagement pertaining to Emmys-related conversation were California, Illinois and New York.

There were more than 1 million tweets about the Emmy Awards, and those tweets were viewed more than 188 million times. The most tweeted minute occurred at 10:47 p.m. ET with 12,601 tweets after Davis won for lead actress in a drama.

According to Amobee Brand Intelligence, a marketing technology company, Twitter sentiment around the #Emmys hashtag was 44% positive, 48% neutral and 8% negative. Best drama winner “Game of Thrones” generated 21,851 tweets between 8 p.m. and midnight ET, while best comedy winner “Veep” received 30,474 tweets in the same period.

Emmy Parties 2015: Inside TV’s Biggest Bashes

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  1. Linda Snyder says:

    I don’t watch entertainers to hear their political views. Just read your lines. This is the first year I missed the Emmys..I will never watch them again. Millions of us feel this way.

  2. No surprise people are tired of the total Liberal slant they are seeing. All these so called awards do nothing but promote a liberal agenda.

  3. Christopher M says:

    There’s several things at work here — first, TV is no longer a network domain — which means most of the shows that won (and nominated) were not seen as mainstream.
    Second, nobody heard of the host unless they were fans of SNL or Brooklyn 9-9. Having a host that people have heard of, and probably somebody who has a talk show people have heard of, as well as a widely promoted show (Fox really didn’t promote the show in media outside its own network that I saw in the Midwest anyway) would help the ratings. The producers of the show need to tell everyone that if they win, they have 30 seconds to thank people. If they are not prepared, tough.
    Third, Sunday Night Football was a factor here — Seattle is a huge media market, and Green Bay has a lot of fans nationwide.
    And finally, Fox is still viewed by a wide sector of the population as a UHF network — many of its affiliates are still on UHF stations that either do not come in clearly or viewers are not watching their programs regularly beyond NFL football, so they are not familiar with the stations. NBC, ABC and CBS have established local affiliates in large media markets and have built-in affiliate news shows to promote the Emmys a week or more in advance. Fox really does not have that, other than Fox News Channel and Fox Business. Larger media markets have those morning shows, but smaller ones do not. What these affiliates do is use their 4, 5 and 6 p.m. newscasts to get the Emmys in front of a daytime market with younger women and men (college kids) who want to see younger stars — the demographic most advertisers want. Some of the newscasts send their anchors to Hollywood to interview stars up for awards and the host in the theater where it will take place — providing additional exposure for the show — and smart networks are encouraging that.
    I also agree with one of the other posters who said The Walking Dead was not nominated — if immensely popular shows are not nominated for awards, they are seen as not reflective of the best TV has to offer. The Oscars have never understood this — and many of those who nominate movies never will, which makes the Oscars an elitist proposition.
    The Emmys may want to take a cue from other awards shows that allow online voters to pick one of the winners, even if it is a new category — Viewer’s Choice for the best show overall, for example, which would allow comedies, dramas and variety shows to compete against each other for an Emmy to be given out during that show.
    Finally, the length. The show is simply too long. Some Fox affiliates have news one hour before the other affiliates, and many of them market to people who go to bed early. The show ended well after 11 p.m. on the West Coast and people have to get up for work the next day (except the Hollywood crowd). Consider moving it to Friday night, which will boost ratings for a night where not a lot of people watch TV, instead of Sunday nights where there is already a lot of competition, so people will not feel guilty about having to stay up late.

  4. Jack says:

    Viewer are tired of it being a popularity contest and full of political correctness; this year being the biggest example of that.

    • Bea says:

      BIG THUMBS UP! Emmy voters sucks like hell. It’s more on popularity and shit, Eva Green being snubbed is one thing, this made me lose faith in humanity. pft

  5. Jojo says:

    The ratings have nothing to do with football and everything to do with the fact The Walking Dead got zero nominations. There’s your 4 million viewers.

  6. Trudy says:

    Liberals cut their noses-off to spite their face, by talking smack against about Republicans. Lib’s don’t realize how angry America is about what’s happening to our country.

    Too bad Hollywood doesn’t get it.

  7. the second that I saw Lady Gaga was going to be shoved down my throat I turned them off.

  8. Drew Peacock says:

    We have more illegal aliens in this country than viewers of the Emmys,
    Congratulations America.
    Best part of the show? The credit roll.

  9. Shark_FL says:

    Here to add my 2 cents … i am cancelling cable and going with an antenna and amazon prime. Football is for sportsbars anyway. Goodbye Hollywood losers. You really should buy some mirrors to see how hated you are. Or just read blog comments that are 99% against the tired, spoiled liberal totalitarian worldview. Its enough already. Plus, Samberg? Douche in a box

    I havent been to a movie theater in 10 years.

  10. Snazzy Snook says:

    That’s what happens when you put a bunch of libturd in charge ..

  11. Robert P. Daugherty says:

    Started off the night with a Trump joke and I knew where this night was going and started clicking channels. I love the opinions of former car washers and waitresses who become pillars of their society.

  12. Kent says:

    Does anybody still watch network TV?

  13. Susan Daniels says:

    Everyone is sick of self-congratulatory liberals.

  14. Jack Pod says:

    Emmy Awards: Idiots acting like idiots. Nothing new here.

  15. Bill says:

    These people are still living in the 20th century.

  16. Kris says:

    Maybe if they could force themselves to leave politics out of entertainment, they’d have better ratings…

  17. It's not a gun, it's a clock says:

    I’m an atheist and even I thought the joke about the Christian clerk, Kim Davis (?), was just disgusting. What is equally bothersome is the fact that there is no circumstance possible where ANY joke would be made about a Muslim by the Hollywood elite. Hollywood loves to laugh at Christians but treats Muslims as if they are untouchable. Even though I think every religion is nonsense squared, the double standard that is practiced by Hollywood and the media is staggering.

    • Sal U. Lloyd says:

      First of all, I don’t believe you ARE an atheist. Secondly, that would be Hollywood making up for their pro-Zionism of the past.

  18. Wait, wasn’t that the day of one of Trump’s speeches?

  19. mjnbell says:

    Down just 25.6%?? That’s all?? C’mon you limousine liberals – you can do better than that. Next year try insulting even more of the general public with your “Oh-aren’t-we-so-cool!” humor and you’ll cut your audience in half! You can do it – I know you can!!

  20. Rocco says:

    The Emmys – brought to you by the People’s Republic of Hollywood, just outside the barrio of Los Angeles.

  21. Who in their right mind wants to listen to a bunch of liberal pieces of krap bash GOP presidential candidates…..it’s an award show, nobody wants to hear you speak BS….most of the stuff hollywood makes SUCKS anymore.

  22. Greta says:

    A room full of commies telling us we are all stupid and complain they don’t get opportunities! Lol. The broad is richer then everyone I know! Wahhhhhhhh!!!!! I feel so sorry for her!!!

  23. gphx says:

    In what universe has Adam Samberg ever been even remotely funny? The only audience I’d expect him to attract is flies.

  24. bill1942 says:

    Meaningless people giving themselves worthless awards.

    • Robert Pucciarelli says:

      Perfect comment. I would like to see these liberal POS’s live the way they speak. From now on, they give 80% of their income to the poor. After all why should they make 15 million plus a movie? ( Im being facetious, I just hate hypocrites? These really are meaningless, unintelligent leftist morons.
      Also, after the Samburg “Trump is a racist comment” so glad to see he flopped. The guy was horrible on SNL, his only funny bit being “Dick in a box”, I guess “Dick at the Emmy’s”, didn’t work.

      • Rocco says:

        Who is Samburg? Never heard of him (then again, who watches the trash on television these days except the trash)?

  25. Tammy says:

    Actors need to stay out of politics.

  26. JackBootedThug says:

    So, we have at least 11.9 million idiots in the country is what I get from the article. Face it…most rational people are sick and tired of the non-stop political drivel that spews from the mouths of the “Hollywood Elite”, while they celebrate yet another of what seems to be weekly award show for these narcissists that need constant pats-on-the-back in order to feel “complete”.

  27. Beau says:

    Boring and actors needs to stay out of politics and enough of Viola Davis AmyS Adam S ….

  28. Paul Kriegh says:

    IT’S LIKE Watching a rerun of Sodam & Gamora

  29. Lala says:

    Trash trash. Spew hatred of 50% of population. Made this about poplitics AGAIN. Never again!!! USA eyes are wide open. I turned this trash off. Shame on them spewing political garbage. Sad.

  30. Douglas says:

    Good. Trash shouldn’t be valued.

  31. Jim says:

    I’m surprised that many watched this drivel.

  32. Wiley Thruster says:

    So, people involved in the shows in some capacity. Their extended families. Advertising salespersons, advertisers and shut-in’s. That’s who watched. Boffo!

  33. Beau Toxx says:

    The Progressive/Marxist propaganda machine is getting stale.

  34. Kenny says:

    Most people have better things to do than watch a bunch of rich people giving each other trophies. Samberg as host-Epic Fail!

  35. FreeWilly says:

    When did Hollywood stars start thinking we cared what their political views were?
    Wasn’t it a Laura Ingrham book… “Shut Up and Sing”

  36. If you’re over the age of 17, I don’t know why anyone wastes their time watching any of the Hollywood award shows. It’s a bunch of rich narcissists giving each other awards and telling each other how great they are. Gag.

  37. xfiler93 says:

    Just another liberal love fest mocking the rest of the nation, us rubes, that don’t really care what self absorbed actors think.

  38. jackdeth72 says:

    Memo to Variety and Fox:

    Don’t blame Sunday Night Football.

    No one between the east and west coasts cares about your silly ass award show!!!

  39. Mark Smith says:

    The story above made me sick to my stomach. Who cares about those a**holes?
    The comments that follow however, make me feel that there is hope for this country. GOD BLESS AMERICA!

  40. truelitistnot says:

    Who are these dumb a$# people that give themselves awards? I don’t watch television so I’ve no idea who these freaks are. Just give up the television auctions and the freaks will go away.

  41. capsaicinone says:

    What do you expect with that prick hosting the emmy’s and people like that moron Tambor going all in for transgendered. Too many in hollywood are out of touch. Waaaaaaaay out of touch. Starting with Samberg.

  42. Why would anyone waste an evening on irrelevant awards shows?

  43. Icarus says:

    As soon as they starting attacking to Trump TV’s across the nation turned the channel. These people delivered us to Obama and they are UNFORGIVEN. Their left drlvel just to secure future rolls is noted…the no watch list gets longer.

  44. Tom says:

    I’m sure if Andy Samberg were, say, Andy Johnson, he wouldn’t be famous in the first place.

  45. DontDrinkTheCoolAid says:

    Did not watch the show at all. The last time I did, the show was such a propaganda mill, I changed channels mid-stream and did not look back.

  46. FH says:

    who would watch these dumb hosts.
    they are out of touch with normal people.

  47. It’s a rich people party, I’m not invited to the party, but I can watch..No thanks..

  48. Argos Wolf says:

    Fantastic. People getting tired of all these celebrities with their political correctness, diversity agenda and pretending to know about geopolitics. I’m surprised they didn’t make the new Steve Jobs black… or a woman… or gay… or a muslim.

  49. ellak727 says:

    Andy Samberg was a terrible host! Viewers tune in to see if their favorite people or shows won an award. Viewers don’t want an obnoxious host who is trying to be funny at someone else’s expense. Viewers don’t want political ads or messages like Andy Samberg was peddling.
    Thumbs down to the Emmy producers!

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