TV Ratings: CMA Awards Tumble to All-Time Low

Darius Rucker and Reba McEntire
ABC/Alysse Gafkjen

The CMA Awards fell to an all-time low in the ratings Wednesday, dropping by more than a third in total viewers and by an even larger percentage in the key ad demographic of adults 18-49.

Elsewhere, NBC's Chicago dramas premiered to numbers in line with their fall 2019 debuts, and The Masked Singer declined a little on Fox — though it still posted the night's top 18-49 rating by a good margin.

The CMA Awards averaged 7.08 million viewers on ABC, down 37 percent from the 11.27 million who watched a year ago and an all-time low for the telecast. The three-hour show also fell by 45 percent among adults 18-49, from 2.0 to 1.1.

The CMAs join the likes of the Primetime Emmy Awards, the Oscars, the MTV Video Music Awards and, most recently, the ACM Awards and Billboard Music Awards, in hitting record low audience figures this year.

Chicago Med had the night's biggest total audience with 7.83 million viewers and scored a 1.2 in the 18-49 demo, ahead of last season's premiere (7.53 million, 1.1). Chicago Fire (7.23 million, 1.0) and Chicago PD (6.43 million, 1.0) were both on par with their year-ago debuts in total viewers and slightly down in adults 18-49.

Fox's The Masked Singer (1.6 in 18-49, 6.06 million viewers) and I Can See Your Voice (0.9, 3.45 million) were down week to week opposite the heavier competition on ABC and NBC. CBS' SWAT opened its season with a 0.4 in the demo and 2.65 million viewers, both of which are same-day series lows (the series typically grows substantially with delayed viewing). The Amazing Race (0.7, 3.72 million) was steady.

On cable, Fox News' Tucker Carlson Tonight led the day in both total viewers (4.67 million) and adults 18-49 (0.6). Fourteen of the top 15 shows in the 18-49 demo were news programs, with Bravo's Real Housewives of Orange County (0.4) the only exception.

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