×

BET Awards Hit 4-Year Ratings High, Rules As Sunday’s No. 1 Program

It draws 7.8 million viewers and is also narrowly the week's No. 1 primetime telecast in 18-49 demo

BET’s annual kudocast “The BET Awards” hit a four-year ratings high on Sunday — topping all its broadcast and cable competition on the night in both demos and total viewers.

The show, which celebrates the achievements of African-Americans and other minorities in various fields of entertainment, averaged a 3.4 rating/10 share in adults 18-49 and 7.77 million viewers overall, according to Nielsen. In both categories, this is a slight improvement over the previous three years and the best since the 2009 show, which aired days after the death of Michael Jackson and drew 10.6 million.

Competitively, no other Sunday primetime telecast came close in the 18-49 demo, as it finished well ahead of HBO’s “True Blood” (2.2 rating) and CBS’ “Big Brother” (1.9). And for the week, the BET Awards edged out the premiere of CBS’ “Under the Dome” and Game 6 of the Stanley Cup Finals on NBC as the No. 1 telecast in the demo.

In total viewers, the only program close to the BET Awards on Sunday was CBS’ “60 Minutes” (7.17 million).

The show, originating this year from the Nokia Theater L.A. Live after seven years in the Shrine Auditorium, was hosted by Chris Tucker and included performances by Chris Brown, Mariah Carey and Justin Timberlake. Drake was honored with video of the year for “Started From the Bottom.”

The 3.4 demo rating puts the BET Awards on par with the most recent ABC telecasts of the Billboard Music Awards (3.5 in May) and American Music Awards (3.4 last November).

And in total years, the BET kudocast tops the most recent version of the Tony Awards on CBS (7.3 million last month) as well as last September’s telecast of the VMA Awards on MTV (an atypically low 6.13 million when it aired on a Thursday and on the same night as the Democratic National Convention).

Popular on Variety

More TV

  • Topic Studios

    Layoffs Hit Topic Studios as TV Division Relocates to West Coast (EXCLUSIVE)

    A small round of layoffs has hit Topic Studios this week in the television division, insiders familiar with the company told Variety. One of the insiders said three executives at the New York-based producer and distributor are out: senior vice president of scripted programming and Viacom alum Lisa Leingang, vice president of development Mona Panchal [...]

  • Peter Weber and Mike Johnson

    'The Bachelor's' Mike Johnson on Diversity and New Leading Man Peter Weber

    ABC named its newest star of “The Bachelor” this week, officially making Peter Weber the leading man for Season 24 of the long-running dating show. Social media backlash ensued following the announcement due to ABC’s selection lacking diversity, yet again. Since the dating franchise began in 2002, there has been only one “Bachelorette” of color [...]

  • ABC Studios Logo

    ABC Studios Head of Alternative Fernando Hernandez Exits

    ABC Studios’ head of alternative Fernando Hernandez has departed from his post at the Disney-owned television studio, a source familiar with the situation told Variety. The Hollywood Reporter first reported the news. Hernandez’s exit follows an executive shuffling at the top in recent months that has included the departure of Amy Hartwick, ABC Studio’s head [...]

  • Rob Cowan, Greg Silverman'The Conjuring 2'

    Greg Silverman’s Stampede, School of Rock Team for Unscripted Series (EXCLUSIVE)

    Former president of Warner Bros. Pictures Greg Silverman is partnering with School of Rock through his content creation company Stampede. The collaboration with the music school will create exclusive content, starting with the development of an unscripted series.  School of Rock operates a network of performance-based education franchises that offer students of all ages guidance [...]

  • TV Roundup: Erica Durance Reprises 'Smallville'

    TV News Roundup: Erica Durance Reprises 'Smallville' Role in 'Arrowverse' Crossover

    In today’s TV news roundup, Erica Durance reprises her “Smallville” role in the CW’s annual “Arrowverse” crossover, and Showtime shares with Variety an exclusive sneak peek at the return of “The Circus.” FIRST LOOKS “2020 is the most important election of our lifetime,” Alex Wagner says in a new trailer for the fourth season of [...]

  • Patrick Whitesell and Ari Emanuel WME

    Endeavor Targets Sept. 27 for Stock Debut, IPO Video Tells Company's Origin Story

    After years of preparation, Endeavor is set to make its formal Wall Street debut on Sept. 27, when its stock will begin trading on the New York Stock Exchange. Endeavor has targeted Sept. 26 for the final pricing of its shares. The stock will trade publicly the following day. Earlier this week, Endeavor said its [...]

More From Our Brands

Access exclusive content