While the saying “things can only go up from here” doesn’t usually apply to television ratings, the 73rd Primetime Emmy Awards on CBS managed to increase its ratings this year by 16 percent. After seven years of steady declines resulting in its lowest ratings ever last year, 7.4 million viewers tuned into last night’s ceremony, with 1.4 billion minutes watched. That’s right, 7.4 million televisions broadcasted the god awful celebrity rap to Biz Markie’s “Just A Friend,” followed by three hours of white people winning awards and dated pre-taped sketches from host Cedric the Entertainer.
The Emmys telecast managed to garner its largest audience since 2018, when 10.2 million people watched the awards ceremony. However, even 2018's numbers were a new low for CBS, sloping down 11 percent from 2017.
Overall, this year’s Emmys are the third least watched ever in the show’s 73 years. There’s still room for improvement, as last night’s rating do not consider streaming numbers on Paramount+ and Youtube TV. These final numbers will arrive later in this week. Additionally, social media traffic for the the awards improved by 33 percent compared to the last two ceremonies.
The Emmy Awards are one of the only rating success stories from this year when it comes to buzzy Hollywood award shows. The Oscars saw new all-time low numbers during its April ceremony, with Golden Globe viewership plummeting a jaw-dropping 60 percent during this year’s ceremony held in February. As people continue to cut cords and lose patience for commercial breaks, it’s pretty amazing the Emmys turned things around.
Those who decided the Emmys weren’t worth switching the channel spent their evening watching NBC’s Sunday Night Football, where a battle between the Baltimore Ravens and Kansas City Chiefs unfolded, or tuned in to the New York Mets versus Philadelphia Phillies game.