Ratings Update: Grammy Awards on CBS Steady in Total Viewers, Down in Demo

The Weeknd Grammy Awards Performance 2016
Matt Sayles/Invision/AP

Despite moving off its traditional Sunday night to Monday, this year’s Grammy Awards on CBS produced a slight year-over-year increase in overall viewership — even if it fell to a seven-year low in the key young-adults demo.

According to preliminary Nielsen estimates that incorporate first-time live West Coast viewing of the Grammys, Monday’s telecast averaged a 7.7 rating in adults 18-49 and 24.95 million viewers overall from 8-11:30 p.m. ET. This is down 7% in the demo (from 8.3) but up slightly in total viewers (from 24.82 million).

That makes the Grammys the television season’s most-watched entertainment telecast. And despite the decline among young adults (to its lowest average since the 2009 show did a 7.4), the Grammys remain firmly entrenched as the No. 2-rated awards show on television, behind only the Oscars.

See More: Grammy Awards Backstage: Meghan Trainor, Chris Stapleton, Mark Ronson Talk Up Wins

Last year’s Oscars took a tumble from its above-average numbers of 2014, falling to its lowest averages in six years (11.0 in 18-49, 37.3 million total viewers). Last fall also saw lower numbers for the Primetime Emmy Awards on Fox as well as the CMAs and AMAs on ABC. And last month, the Golden Globes on NBC fell joined the others in posting declines, though its were minimal.

Increases in online streaming could be at least partially to blame for lower television tune-in among young adults, with CBS on Tuesday reporting record-breaking numbers for its All Access subscription service.

The National Academy of Recording Arts and Sciences moved this year’s show to avoid airing on the middle night of a three-day weekend, which was also Valentine’s Day. As a result, the Grammys telecast missed a head-to-head collision with AMC’s “The Walking Dead,” but it did have to face tough competition including ABC’s “The Bachelor” and Fox’s “The X-Files.”

Last night’s Grammys telecast gave CBS its top Monday averages since the night of the “Everybody Loves Raymond” series finale in May 2005.

The 58th Annual Grammy Awards, hosted by LL Cool J from the Staples Center in Los Angeles, handed out top prizes to Taylor Swift (album of the year for “1989”), Mark Ronson and Bruno Mars (record of the year for “Uptown Funk”) and Ed Sheeran (song of the year for “Thinking Out Loud”). Rapper Kendrick Lamar was another big winner, picking up five statuettes.

Looking elsewhere at Monday’s ratings action, “The Bachelor” was the No. 1-rated series of the night in 18-49 (2.2 rating/6 share, 7.1 million viewers overall) but was down 0.3 from its high of the previous week. It edged out Fox’s penultimate episode of “The X-Files” (2.1/6 in 18-49, 7.1 million viewers overall), which itself was down 0.4.

On a night when everything drooped opposite the Grammys, Fox’s “Lucifer” held up best (1.6/4 in 18-49, 5.2 million viewers overall), off just a tenth week to week. NBC’s “Superstore” (1.2/4 in 18-49, 3.9 million viewers overall) and “Telenovela” (0.7/2 in 18-49, 2.3 million viewers overall) dipped to their lowest scores one week in advance of their season finales.

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  1. Jacques Strappe says:

    It was one of the dullest Grammy Award shows in memory. Over the years, it has evolved into mostly a musical performance and tribute show than award show. The award presentation portion feels more distraction since it occupies so little time. Lady Gaga’s tribute to the late David Bowie was the only memorable and entertaining part of the show.

  2. Dunstan says:

    I tried watching the show but I started to slip into a coma. What a bore.

  3. Occultology says:

    There are, I am sure, many reasons for the Grammy Ratings drop, but the biggest clue is that, for the first time in American Recorded Musical History, OLD music is outselling NEW music in the marketplace. Most of what was broadcast last night was simply NOT music , which is melody, harmony, lyrical beauty and other forms of audio resonance. 90% of yesternight’s Grammy ‘Hey, Look At Me ‘ Ego Festival was a dissonant mud-wrestling slash brain wasting disease disguised as cultural significance. There are NO legitimate musical heirs to The Beatles today, only acts which followed them. I wouldn’t trade one Dusty Springfield for the entire cast of that Grammy telecast. This ‘musical’ generation is incapable of producing anything remotely approaching the profound truths that are “The Look of Love”, or Roy Clark’s “Yesterday, When I Was Young”. The dynamic, joyful rush of “She Loves You (Yeah, Yeah, Yeah)” still stands as a shining beacon amid the unintelligible primordial brain-dead anthropoid ballet that is today’s contribution to the Heavenly and Earthly Realms.

  4. ninvoid99 says:

    Well, what would anyone expect. It’s the Grammys. They have no real credibility. They give awards to one-hit wonders and those who never really sing. Plus they give awards for artists in the wrong category. It’s a show with no balls. No real surprise. I quote Maynard James Keenan: It’s an awards ceremony for an industry that celebrates itself. He’s right, it’s really just a dying, out-of-touch industry that is there to celebrate mediocrity. Lady Gaga did alright with her tribute to David Bowie but it was a mess and lacked danger. The fact that his son didn’t like it just says it all. His opinion to me, matters more than anyone else since he probably knows more about his father and his father’s music better than anyone. The man deserved better.

    • Ken says:

      Gaga’s Bowie “tribute” was messy and pure kitsch. She was flailing about all over the stage – awkwardly jumping from tune to tune. Expected much better from her. Wasn’t moved in the least. Big disappointment.

      • ninvoid99 says:

        I tried to be moved but I couldn’t. It was a mess. I hope the people that were really close to Bowie would do better. I think it should be a simulcast concert of sorts. One in London and one in New York.

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