TV Ratings: 2017 Golden Globes Climb to 20 Million Viewers

Jimmy Fallon_Onstage_Golden Globes - Getty - H 2017
Paul Drinkwater/NBC

Jimmy Fallon may be No. 1 in late night, but how did his hosting skills translate to the Golden Globes?

The Tonight Show host had his first spin manning the stage at the film and TV kudos on Sunday night, and ratings have the three-hour-plus telecast up by 1.5 million viewers from last year.

With final adjustments in, the NBC telecast of the 74th annual Golden Globe Awards averaged 20 million viewers and a 5.6 rating among adults 18-49. Those mark year-to-year boosts of 8 percent and 2 percent, respectively. With the exception of 2014, it ranks as the most-watched Globes telecast in 10 years.

It's good news for the Golden Globes. The show, annually the third-highest-rated ceremony behind the Oscars and the Grammys, has been relatively steady for the last two years — though consistently down. The 2016 event hosted by Ricky Gervais ultimately averaged 18.5 million viewers and a 5.5 rating among adults 18-49.

Unlike last year, the 2017 Golden Globes didn't have to contend with any head-to-head NFL competition. Fox coverage of the New York Giants-Green Bay Packers wild-card game wrapped just before 8 p.m. ET, leaving viewers at least a couple minutes to flip the dial over to NBC. (The last hour of play, despite the lopsided score, still averaged an obscene 25.9 rating among households for Fox.) The Globes also were relatively tight, only running three minutes past the scheduled end time of 11 p.m. ET.

Sunday's Globes winners were a mix of big commercial hits and smaller titles. TV comedy winner Atlanta hasn't exactly managed to get the widest reach in its freshman season, nor has Amazon's Billy Bob Thornton starrer Goliath, but limited series winner The People v. O.J. has been a fixture of the pop culture conversation since it premiered nearly one year ago. On the film front, La La Land and Moonlight have thus far had limited box-office reach, though both have been very big parts of awards-season chatter.

The high bar for Golden Globes ratings, at least in recent history, remains 2014. Tina Fey and Amy Poehler's second go during their wildly successful three-year stint as co-hosts averaged nearly 21 million viewers and a 6.5 rating in the key demo.

The other broadcast networks were not intimidated by NBC's Globes draw. The rest of the Big Four aired original episodes, with Fox leading in the key demo thanks to that football lead-in. Early returns have The Simpsons scoring a massive 4.9 rating among adults 18-49, followed by Son of Zorn (2.3 adults), Family Guy (1.8 adults) and Bob's Burgers (1.5 adults). 

CBS aired new episodes of 60 Minutes (1.0 adults), NCIS: Los Angeles (1.3 adults), Madam Secretary (0.9 adults) and Elementary (0.7 adults), while ABC plugged in back-to-back episodes of To Tell the Truth (1.0 adults) and another Conviction (0.5 adults).