Fox’s coverage of the 55th annual Primetime Emmy Awards was a big winner on Sunday night, although its preliminary adults 18-49 average (7.1/18) puts it 12% behind the 8.1/20 that NBC generated last year.
In overall viewership, the three-hour-plus show’s roughly 17.7 million viewers makes it the second least-watched Emmycast in 13 years, ahead of only the 2001 event which was twice-delayed by the events of Sept. 11 and wound up airing opposite Game 7 of the World Series (17.1 million). Last year’s Emmycast averaged 20 million viewers.
Reliable figures weren’t available for Fox’s hourlong Emmys pre-show, as NFL action in some Eastern markets ran deep into the 7 o’clock hour.
CBS, with a football overrun, was the distant runnerup on the night. Net got some mileage out of a repeat of the first episode of “Survivor: Pearl Islands” from 9:30 to 11 (prelim 2.9/7 in adults 18-49, 6.7 million viewers overall).
NBC was the Emmy alternative of choice from 9 to 11 with a pair of “Law & Order: Criminal Intent” repeats, which averaged a 3.2/8 in adults 18-49.
ABC’s lineup, which included a decent perf from a repeat of new drama “Threat Matrix” at 8 (prelim 1.8/5 in 18-49), finished fourth on the night.
Early nationals weren’t available for the WB, but the net did well in overnights with the network preem of theatrical “Save the Last Dance.”
Preliminary 18-49 averages for the night: Fox, 6.2/17; CBS, 2.6/7; NBC, 2.4/6; ABC, 1.7/5.
In total viewers: Fox, 15.4 million; CBS, 8.3 million; NBC, 7.9 million; ABC, 5.3 million.