US audience for Emmy Awards show hits record low

Published September 19, 2018, 7:32 AM

by Hannah Torregoza 

(Reuters) – The US television audience for the Emmy Awards slumped about 11 percent to a new all-time low, according to Nielsen ratings data on Tuesday, drawing just 10.2 million American viewers.

Outstanding Variety Sketch series. (Reuters/Mario Anzuoni) /
Outstanding Variety Sketch series. (Reuters/Mario Anzuoni)

Last year’s Emmy Awards ceremony, celebrating the best of television, was seen by 11.4 million U.S. viewers, which itself tied the previous record-low figure, reached in 2016.

The Emmy Awards, broadcast live on Monday on NBC, handed their top prizes to cable and streaming shows, with HBO’s “Game of Thrones” and Amazon’s “The Marvelous Mrs. Maisel” winning the best drama and comedy series statuettes, respectively. Netflix and HBO tied for the most number of awards, at 23 each.

The ceremony, hosted by “Saturday Night Live” comedians Michael Che and Colin Jost, got a thumbs down from viewers and television critics alike for weak jokes and a lack of energy.

The Los Angeles Times called the show “oddly downbeat,” while National Public Radio said Jost and Che were “awkward, miserable, unfunny,” and “devoid of charisma.”

Major award shows have been losing ground with the public. This year’s Oscars in March was down about 19 percent compared to 2017 to a low of 26.5 million viewers, while the Grammy Awards for music in January lost about 24 percent of its 2017 television audience.