Last night’s Tony Awards produced the lowest ratings for the theater awards show in five years.
Despite the best efforts of “Late Late Show” host James Corden, who was back hosting the Tonys for the second time, the 2019 awards scored a 0.8 rating in the key 18-49 demographic and fell below 6 million total viewers for the first time with just under 5.5 million total viewers tuning in, according to Nielsen overnight numbers. For comparison, that’s down 20% on last year’s 1.0 rating and 13% on 2018’s viewership figure of 6.3 million. Last time Corden hosted in 2016, the show notched a 1.6 rating and 8.7 million viewers. In both 2017 and 2015, the CBS-broadcast awards show averaged a 0.9 rating in the same demographic.
Mythical Greek musical “Hadestown” and IRA thriller “The Ferryman” were the big winners on the night, alongside Elaine May, who received her first-ever Tony at the age of 87, and Bryan Cranston, who won best actor in a play, on the acting front.
Elsewhere on Sunday, NBC comfortably won the night thanks to game six of the Stanley Cup, which trumped the Tonys at 8 p.m. with a 1.9 rating and 6.1 million total viewers. The awards show also narrowly lost out to “Celebrity Family Feud” in the time period. The ABC game show scored a 1.0 rating and was watched by just over 6 million total viewers.
NBC finished with a 1.6 average across the night, followed by ABC with a 0.8, CBS with a 0.7 and Fox with a 0.4.
The awards show’s ratings were also likely hampered by the season 4 finale of “Billions” on Showtime and the season 2 opener of “Big Little Lies” on HBO, which both aired last night.