TV Ratings: Emmys Tumble 33 Percent to All-Time Low

For the second year in a row, the Emmy Awards have hit an all-time low in the ratings.

Time zone-adjusted ratings for Sunday's telecast on Fox have the awards pulling in 6.9 million viewers, down almost a third (32 percent) from last year's Emmy ceremony on NBC. The 10.21 million viewers was the previous low for the awards.

The kudocast also pulled in a 1.6 rating among adults 18-49, down 33 percent from 2.4 a year ago and also an all-time low. The numbers ticked up a little in the finals to 6.98 million viewers and 1.7 in adults 18-49; both are still all-time lows.

The adjusted numbers show an ever bigger fall than the preliminary ratings, which came in at a 5.7 household rating in metered markets. That was off by 23 percent from the 7.4 rating for the 2018 Emmys, which aired on a Monday night (to avoid conflicts with NBC's NFL contract).

The last time Fox aired the Emmys, in 2015, the ceremony drew what was then an all-time low of 11.87 million viewers.

The slide for the Emmys is also easily the biggest decline among the major televised awards shows in 2019, which reversed, or at least halted, several years of declines from a mid-decade peak. The Oscars improved by more than 10 percent in both total viewers and adults 18-49, and the Golden Globes and Grammys were fairly steady year to year. 

The hostless broadcast received negative reviews, with The Hollywood Reporter's chief TV critic Daniel Fienberg noting the producers made "one bad choice after another." HBO's megahit Game of Thrones won the Emmy for best drama series to cap the night, and the cast assembled on stage mid-show for a farewell tribute, but the telecast was dominated by lesser-seen shows like limited series winner Chernobyl and Phoebe Waller-Bridge's comedy Fleabag, which won for comedy series, Waller-Bridge's lead performance, writing and directing. 

NBC's Sunday Night Football telecast topped Sunday's ratings with a 12.8 in metered-market households, up a little bit from last week's 12.2.

Elsewhere on the night, an NFL-delayed Big Brother on CBS is currently at 4.26 million viewers and a 1.0 rating in adults 18-49, pending updates. ABC's Celebrity Family Feud scored a season-low 0.6 in adults 18-49, and The $100,00 Pyramid (0.5) and To Tell the Truth (0.4) tied season lows.

NBC easily led the night in adults 18-49 with a 4.5 rating pending updates. CBS is at 1.8 and Fox at 1.4, also pending updates for both. ABC (0.5) and The CW (0.2) were well off the pace.

In the finals, Sunday Night Football drew 18.59 million viewers and a 6.1 in adults 18-49. Big Brother adjusted up to 4.96 million and 1.3.

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Sept. 23, 11:30 a.m. Updated with adjusted Emmys ratings.

Sept. 24, 7:25 a.m. Updated with final ratings.