The numbers are in from Nielsen for Sunday’s Primetime Emmys telecast on Fox, and the figures reveal that the broadcast attracted the smallest audience on record for the Emmys. Variety reports that the ceremony delivered just 11.9 million total viewers, based on Nielsen preliminary estimates.
That’s down almost 4 million from the 15.6 million who turned out last year, when the Emmys aired on a Monday on NBC and had the advantage of not airing against an NFL game.
“The previous recorded total-viewer low for the show was 12.3 million in both 1990 (its first year on Fox) and 2008 on ABC,” Variety notes. “The 1974 Emmys on ABC likely drew a smaller audience, but a total-viewer count wasn’t available, according to Nielsen; that year’s show was seen in 6.85 million homes, which is the smallest tune-in of the past 60 years.”
The 2013 telecast on CBS holds the high mark for recent years with 17.8 million total viewers, while the largest audience on record overall is the turnout of 36 million for the 1986 broadcast, carried by NBC.
Five other awards shows in the past year did better than the Emmys, Variety adds.
“They trail the Oscars on ABC (37.3 million), the Grammys on CBS (24.8 million), the Golden Globes on NBC (19.3 million), the CMAs on ABC (16.3 million) and the ACMs on CBS (16.0 million), while they come in ahead of the AMAs (11.6 million) and Billboard Music Awards (11.2 million), both on ABC,” the story reports.