Sorry, Rami Malek, it sounds like a lot of people weren't seeing what you saw at the 2016 Emmy Awards.
This past Sunday, "Game of Thrones" made history, Maggie Smith got dragged, the "Stranger Things" kids sang and delivered sandwiches, and Kit Harington hit on Kyle Chandler. But only a few of us were around to watch. Why?
Just a few years ago, in 2013, the Emmy Awards hit a 10-year peak of 17.7 million viewers on CBS. This year, ABC's Jimmy Kimmel-hosted event had the lowest ratings yet. According to TV by the Numbers, the final tally for the 68th annual Emmy Awards was an average of 11.38 million viewers and a 2.8 rating in the 18-49 demographic. That's down from last year's 11.9 million on Fox, which was previously the least-watched Emmys.
The good news is that around 26 million people watched some portion of the three-hour show, Nielsen data showed (via CNN), so maybe it would just help to know which portions and why.What's to blame for the downturn? Was Jimmy Kimmel not enough of a draw as host? "Game of Thrones" and "The People v O.J. Simpson" too obviously set up for wins? No built-in drama to draw fans away from other shows?
The most obvious reason that explains at least some of the dip is Sunday Night Football. NBC's game covered roughly the same amount of time as the Emmys and took in 22.75 million viewers with an 8.2 rating. Also, CBS found itself a hit with Part 1 of "The Case Of: JonBenét Ramsey," earning around 11 million viewers and a 2.1 rating.
Maybe football and the JonBenet special just seemed like more must-watch TV than the Emmys, which are always followed by winners lists and roundups of the best and worst moments, so anyone who is curious can just Google after-the-fact to quickly see what they missed. (Speaking of that, here is the winner's list, and here are the best and worst moments. You're welcome!)What does this mean going forward? The 2016 Oscars were down too, despite or because of controversy, but that show still pulls in bigger numbers, like 34.4 million viewers. It's not too shabby to still get 11 million people to watch an awards show, so there may not be much course-correcting needed for the 2017 Emmys. And it's not like they can really control who is nominated. (Or can they?)
"Game of Thrones" will open the door for others next year, since the later premiere of Season 7 means the HBO flagship series will be ineligible for the 2017 Emmys. That should at least bring more surprises to the show, if not more viewers.
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