×
You will be redirected back to your article in seconds

What Emmy’s Monday Night Move Means for NBC

For the first time in four years, the Primetime Emmy Awards are moving back to Monday night. The 70th annual ceremony will take place on Sept.17 live from Los Angeles, with “Saturday Night Live’s” Michael Che and Colin Jost set to host — and hopes for record ratings are on network execs’ minds.

The Monday night move is to avoid conflict with “Sunday Night Football,” which broadcaster NBC also boasts on its schedule this fall. The last time the network aired the awards show on a Monday it saw 15.6 million average total viewers, which marked the second-highest-rated broadcast in the past five years. In the Sunday- night broadcasts since that 66th annual ceremony in 2014, the Emmys only pulled in 11.9 million live viewers in 2015 (broadcast on Fox), 11.3 million live viewers in 2016 (broadcast on ABC) and 11.4 million live viewers just last year in 2017 (broadcast on CBS).

It isn’t just the Emmys that have seen a decline in viewership. Awards shows have suffered overall: The Academy Awards ratings have been declining since 2014 as well, with the 2018 ceremony drawing 26.5 million viewers (down from almost 33 million the previous year). The 2018 Grammys brought in 19.8 million viewers, down from 26 million the previous year.

Some industry insiders also expressed concern about the fallout of hosting such a big event during the work week, though.

“Mondays are rough because it’s a normal work day for everyone else,” said one publicist. “So while you’re trying to focus on your clients that you’re walking down the red carpet, you’re getting dozens of emails from your clients who are not at the Emmys but want you to make sure you’re still working on their accounts.”

Another noted that the traffic in Los Angeles always makes for an extra headache getting downtown. “The road closures and detours are never fun, but they cause much less congestion on weekends,” she said. “With the Emmys on Monday this year, it feels like rush hour downtown will be an all-day event.”

Historically, the first time the Emmys took place on a Monday was the third annual ceremony in 1951, back when the show was still a part of the winter awards season. It returned to Monday for three more ceremonies (the seventh in 1955, the 12th in 1960 and the 16th in 1964) before the ceremony was shifted to the fall season in 1965 for the 17th annual ceremony.

The 18th annual ceremony, in 1966, marked the start of the big four broadcasters’ rotation of the telecast, after NBC had aired them for the previous decade. The Emmys made an appearance on Monday nights at the 27th ceremony in 1975 and the 28th in 1976, but not again until the 66th in 2014. This was because NBC acquiring “Sunday Night Football” in 2006 caused the network to think twice about upsetting its sports lineup when its turn was up at the Emmy bat.

While NBC representatives say they do not plan to do anything different at this year’s show just because it’s back on a Monday, given that the Emmys will be their second consecutive night of event programming following football, they’re hopeful viewers will want to tune in.

“The last time we had the Emmys on a Monday night, we saw record ratings,” one executive said. “We obviously are hoping for that again and are confident that we can see high numbers.”

More TV

  • Melissa McCarthy as "Lee Israel" and

    WGA Awards 2019: 'Can You Ever Forgive Me?,' 'Eighth Grade' Win Screenplay Awards

    In a pair of upsets, “Can You Ever Forgive Me?” has won the Writers Guild of America’s adapted screenplay award for Nicole Holofcener and Jeff Whitty and Bo Burnham has won the original screenplay award for “Eighth Grade.” “Can You Ever Forgive Me?,” based on the memoir of the late Lee Israel, topped the screenplays [...]

  • 50 Cent Power

    NYPD Officer Under Investigation for Allegedly Telling Police to Shoot 50 Cent 'on Sight'

    A New York City precinct commander is under investigation for allegedly telling officers to shoot rapper 50 Cent on sight, a police rep confirmed to Variety on Sunday. “The matter is under internal review,” an NYPD rep said, declining to answer further questions. Deputy Inspector Emanuel Gonzalez is accused of telling officers during a June 7 roll [...]

  • Bohemian Rhapsody

    'Bohemian Rhapsody,' 'Marvelous Mrs. Maisel' Among Cinema Audio Society Winners

    Queen biopic “Bohemian Rhapsody” won the Cinema Audio Society’s top prize for sound mixing at Saturday night’s 55th annual CAS Awards. The film is Oscar-nominated for sound mixing this year along with “Black Panther,” “First Man,” “Roma” and “A Star Is Born.” In a surprise over heavy-hitters “Incredibles 2” and “Spider-Man: Into the Spider-Verse,” Wes [...]

  • Marvelous Mrs Maisel Vice

    'Vice,' 'The Marvelous Mrs. Maisel' Lead Make-Up and Hair Stylists Guild Awards Winners

    Adam McKay’s Dick Cheney biopic “Vice,” starring Oscar nominees Christian Bale, Amy Adams and Sam Rockwell, won two awards at the sixth annual Make-Up and Hair Stylists Guild Awards Saturday night. The film won for best period and/or character makeup as well as special makeup effects. “Mary Queen of Scots” received the prize for period [...]

  • Jussie Smollett Good Morning America

    Jussie Smollett Angrily Denies Complicity in Attack

    Attorneys for “Empire” actor Jussie Smollett issued a statement Saturday denying that he orchestrated his Jan. 29 assault, and saying he is “angered” and “devastated” by recent developments in the case. Chicago police want to interview Smollett, after learning new evidence from two Nigerian brothers who were released on Friday night. Local media outlets have [...]

  • Jussie Smollett Empire

    Chicago Police Want to Talk to Jussie Smollett as New Evidence Emerges

    Chicago police are seeking to re-interview “Empire” actor Jussie Smollett, after new evidence emerged in his alleged assault. Smollett has claimed that two men attacked him at 2 a.m. on Jan. 29, yelled racial and homophobic slurs, poured bleach on him, and put a noose around his neck. The Chicago Police Department has consistently said [...]

More From Our Brands

Access exclusive content