ABC has sent a message to its rivals: You might want to keep your big events off Sunday night.
NBC’s telecast of the Golden Globes took a significant ratings hit Sunday, proving no match for the Alphabet’s heavyweight combo of “Desperate Housewives” and “Extreme Makeover: Home Edition.”
CBS and Fox also aired original episodes of their top Sunday series, not willing to let the Peacock have the night to itself.
Results suggest that even some of television’s big events are vulnerable to strong competition — and it might be another indicator that interest in awards shows overall is on the decline.
According to preliminary nationals from Nielsen, the three-hour Globes kudocast fell to its lowest ratings since moving to NBC in 1996 (5.7 rating/16 share in adults 18-49, 16.8 million viewers overall) — down a sharp 40% year-to-year.
If it’s any consolation to NBC and the Globes, the previous week’s People’s Choice Awards on CBS tumbled to a new ratings low, and the conclusion of the Eye’s “Survivor: Vanuatu” in December produced the weakest numbers to date for a finale of the veteran reality series — with both events facing firstrun episodes of ABC’s Sunday biggies.
The Academy Awards, the highest rated of the annual kudocasts, doesn’t have to worry about facing ABC’s hot skeins since the kudocast airs on the network. But CBS’ Grammys on Feb. 13 is skedded to face original episodes of “Housewives” and “Home Edition,” and can expect to see a ratings drop.
Golden Globes night, which in recent years has rivaled the Grammys as television’s No. 2-rated kudocast, figures to rank fourth this season — behind the Oscars; Grammys; and the Country Music Assn. Awards on CBS, which averaged 18.5 million viewers (and a 5.9 rating in adults 18-49) in November.
Not surprisingly, Sunday’s Globes telecast peaked at 10 o’clock (after “Housewives” ended) with about 19.5 million viewers, but then fell to 18.3 million at 10:30. NBC won primetime’s final hour with ease, though.
In the 9 o’clock hour, when Teri Hatcher of “Desperate Housewives” was honored with the Golden Globe for actress in a comedy series, the sudser more than doubled the kudocast’s 18-49 rating (11.0 to 5.0 in Nielsen prelims). The Globes actually placed third in that hour in total viewers, also lagging an original episode of CBS crime drama “Cold Case” (prelim 15.5 million, 4.3/9 in adults 18-49).
ABC, which led the broadcast nets with three Golden Globe wins, dominated from 8 to 9 with the second half of a two-hour seg of “Extreme Makeover: Home Edition” (prelim 9.0/20 in 18-49, 20.4 million viewers overall) and was also the No. 1 nonsports choice at 7 with “Home’s” opening 60 minutes (prelim 4.4/11 in 18-49).
For the night, ABC enjoyed its strongest Sunday since February’s Oscarcast, averaging a first-place 7.5/17 in adults 18-49 and a second-place 17.5 million viewers overall (behind football-boosted CBS).
The Eye crushed everybody at 7 p.m. ET with the final 45 minutes of action from a National Football League playoff game between the New England Patriots and Indianapolis Colts and a 15-minute postgame show, which combined for a huge 11.5/29 in 18-49 and 31.5 million viewers overall in prelim nationals.
In Nielsen’s metered-market overnight ratings, the Patriots’ 20-3 victory generated the highest Sunday household rating for an American Football Conference semifinal contest (24.3/41 share) since the NFL returned to CBS in 1998.
This Sunday, original episodes of “Desperate Housewives” and “Extreme Makeover: Home Edition” may finally meet their match when they go head-to-head with football’s AFC championship game on CBS. The Patriots-Pittsburgh Steelers matchup should average more than 40 million viewers.
On the cable side Sunday, E! Entertainment Television’s “Live From the Red Carpet” (6-8 p.m. ET/PT), hosted by Star Jones Reynolds, averaged a 2.12 metered-market household rating. This is down from last year but twice the rating for new competitor the TV Guide Channel (1.06), which featured awards show vets Joan and Melissa Rivers.