TV Ratings: Emmy Awards Fall to All-Time Low

Updated: NBC's broadcast of the 70th awards falls short of the previous year and records its smallest audience ever.
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Emmy hosts Colin Jost (left) and Michael Che

The Emmy Awards delivered a big night for streaming services Monday, but not for the broadcast networks — both in terms of awards won and, for NBC, the number of people watching.

Updated ratings taking the live telecast into account have the audience at 10.21 million viewers, an all-time low and down about 10 percent from a year ago. Among adults 18-49, the show averaged a 2.4 rating, off slightly from 2.5 in 2017 and also a low.

The previous low for the Emmys was 11.3 million on ABC in 2016. The 2017 kudocast on CBS just beat that number with 11.39 million.

Since NBC last aired the Emmys in 2014, the total audience for the show has fallen by 35 percent, and 18-49 ratings have declined by 43 percent. Demo ratings have been down each year; the total-viewer count has fallen in three of the past four years, save for the slight uptick in 2017.

The signs were there from the early numbers: Monday's Emmy telecast scored a 7.4 household rating in metered markets. That's the smallest ever metered-market rating for the show (dating back to 1990) and down about 10 percent from the 2017 Emmys on CBS, which narrowly avoided being the least-watched on record.

On the plus(-ish) side, the Emmys were off by less than those for the 2018 Grammys (-23 percent in the demo, -24 percent in viewers) and Oscars (-24 percent in 18-49, -19 percent in viewers). The Grammys and Oscars also started from much higher places, however.

In the fast nationals, which aren't especially accurate for live broadcasts, the Emmys averaged a 2.1 rating among adults 18-49 and 9.08 million viewers. That's pretty close to the fast-national 2.1 and 9.58 million, but the final numbers weren't as kind.

Elsewhere Monday, Fox's special Inside the Manson Cult: The Lost Tapes delivered a 0.6 in the demo, while two episodes of Castaways on ABC each came in at 0.6 as well. The season finale of Salvation on CBS was even with last week's 0.4, while Elementary's finale ticked up a tenth of a point to 0.5.