Riding a wave or fresh faces and new programs, this year’s Emmys show on NBC appears to have eked ahead of last year for the kudocast’s largest overall audience in four years.
NBC and the TV Academy opted this year to air the Emmys live on the West Coast for the first time in more than 30 years. But realizing it was tough to ask West Coasters to come out of the sunshine for a late-afternoon start, a second, taped airing of the Emmys played at 8.
Nielsen cumed the two airings to produce a single rating
that represented unduplicated viewership. And those estimates show that the “62nd Annual Primetime Emmy Awards” averaged 13.50 million viewers (up slightly from last year’s 13.47 million on CBS) and a 4.1 rating in adults 18-49 (down a tick from last year’s 4.2).
This is the largest overall audience for the Emmys since 2006 (16.18 million on NBC).
The show, hosted from the Nokia Theater in Los Angeles by NBC latenight personality Jimmy Fallon, probably suffered some in the ratings by airing at a time when many potential viewers were vacationing or enjoying outdoor activities. But that factor was probably mitigated some by a crop of fresh nominees and winners (led by “Modern Family” and “Glee”), which were expected to attract viewers who hadn’t watched the kudocast in recent years.
In Nielsen’s metered-market local ratings for the country’s 10 largest cities, the Emmys fared best live in New York (13.2 household rating/21 share) and Chicago (12.8/21). The live number in Los Angeles (9.5/19) and San Francisco (8.8/19) were lower than usual, but the 8-11 p.m. delayed rebroadcast earned an additional 5.6 rating in the event’s host city and a 5.3 in the Bay Area.
On a national basis, this year’s Emmys become the highest-rated non-sports telecast on any network in adults 18-49 since the season finale of Fox’s “Glee” on June 8. It’s also the largest overall audience for a non-sports program since Fox’s “American Idol” wrapped its season on May 26.
This has been a pretty good year for kudocasts in general, with the Academy Awards on ABC (41.70 million) and Grammy Awards on CBS (25.87 million) drawing their largest audiences in five and six years, respectively. Also, the Golden Globes on NBC hit a three-year high (16.98 million).
This year’s Emmys aired three weeks earlier than usual because broadcast carrier NBC’s Sunday slate is occupied post-Labor Day by “Sunday Night Football.” The same scenario played out in 2006, when the Peacock began airing “SNF,” with the kudocast reverting to its traditional mid-September spot when Fox, ABC and CBS took their turns from 2007 to 2009.
A special preseason football game on Fox between the Denver Broncos and Pittsburgh Steelers scored well Sunday, averaging a 3.4/9 in 18-49 and 9.1 million viewers overall on Fox’s stations from 8 to 11. The game was the first national telecast of the preseason featuring buzzed-about quarterbacks Ben Roethlisberger of Pittsburgh and Tim Tebow of Denver.
Elsewhere, CBS’ “Big Brother” (2.8/8 in 18-49, 7.8 million viewers overall) seemed unfazed by the Emmys, rising week to week and drawing its best numbers on a Sunday in two years. ABC didn’t do much with its three-hour telecast of the theatrical “Casino Royale” (1.1/3 in 18-49, 3.8 million viewers overall).
Ratings for Sunday cable programs will be released today. Those include HBO’s “True Blood” and AMC’s “Mad Men,” with the latter capturing Emmy’s top drama prize at the same time its firstrun episode was airing in most of the country.