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The Emmys bucked a recent trend for major awards shows — early figures have the show up in viewers after two straight years of all-time lows.
Sunday’s telecast on CBS averaged about 7.83 million viewers in the final same-day ratings, which include out of home viewing (up from 7.4 million in preliminary ratings). That’s a 23 percent improvement on the 6.36 million viewers for last year’s Emmys and the highest for the awards since 10.2 million watched on NBC in 2018.
The show also scored a 1.81 rating among adults 18-49, half a point higher than a year ago.
Cedric the Entertainer, star of CBS’ comedy The Neighborhood, hosted the awards. Netflix’s The Crown swept the drama categories, and The Queen’s Gambit, Ted Lasso, Hacks and Mare of Easttown also won multiple awards.
Like other awards shows, the Emmys recorded all-time lows in the ratings in 2020, averaging 6.36 million viewers and a 1.3 rating among adults 18-49 on ABC. The broadcast didn’t suffer as steep a decline as some of its counterparts — but it also didn’t have as far to go. The 2019 awards drew a shade under 7 million viewers and a 1.7 in the key ad demographic on Fox.
Sunday’s show also had a big lead-in with a nationally televised NFL game on CBS. ABC didn’t have that advantage a year ago (though Fox did in 2019).
Paramount+ also streamed the Emmys on Sunday. Per usual with streaming platforms, detailed viewing figures aren’t available, but CBS says the Emmys recorded 1.4 billion minutes of viewing time across linear and digital platforms (including CBS.com and the CBS app). Social traffic for the the awards improved by 33 percent over each of the past two ceremonies.
Elsewhere Sunday, NBC’s Sunday Night Football averaged 19.81 million viewers, a 12 percent improvement over the comparable week a year ago. A repeat of America’s Funniest Home Videos (4.46 million viewers) was the most watched show outside of football and the Emmys. The Walking Dead edged up over the previous week with 1.91 million viewers and led cable in adults 18-49 with a 0.51 rating.
Bookmark THR.com/Ratings for more ratings news and numbers.
Sept. 20, 7:42 a.m. Updated with final ratings figures for the Emmys and other Sunday shows.
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