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Emmys Get Second-Smallest Audience on Record

The Emmy telecast got tackled by the National Football League, with the ceremony drawing its second-smallest audience on record.

The awards show on Fox honoring TV's best, which was in direct competition with Sunday's football game in much of the country, was watched by just under 13 million viewers, according to Nielsen Media Research figures released Tuesday.

Last year's ceremony, on NBC, drew 16.1 million. The biggest viewership in recent years was in 2000 on ABC, when nearly 22 million tuned in.

In 1990, when then-fledgling network Fox had grabbed the Emmy ceremony away from the big three networks for several years, the show had 12.3 million viewers, according to Nielsen. The program now rotates annually among the four major broadcasters.

The audience for this year's Emmys wasn't much bigger than the TV crowd that gathered for the finale of this year's best drama series winner, "The Sopranos." That show's final episode in June drew nearly 12 million viewers.

The New England Patriots' blowout over the San Diego Chargers, airing on NBC, had an audience of more than 15 million, making it the week's most-watched show.

For the week ending Sunday, Fox averaged 6.5 million viewers in prime-time (4.3 household rating, 7 share) while NBC averaged 6.2 million (4.1 rating, 7 share); ABC had 5.3 million (3.5 rating, 6 share), the CW 2.1 million (1.4 rating, 2 share), My Network TV 1.2 million (0.8 rating, 1 share) and ION Television 620,000 (0.4 rating, 1 share).

CBS' final figures were delayed, Nielsen said Tuesday.

Among the Spanish-language networks, Univision averaged 3.2 million viewers (1.7 rating, 3 share), Telemundo had 1.3 million (0.7 rating, 1 share), TeleFutura 650,000 (0.4 rating, 1 share) and Azteca 110,000 (0.1 rating, 0 share).

ABC's "World News" won the evening news ratings race, averaging 7.7 million viewers (5.3 rating, 11 share) to NBC "Nightly News" and its 7.3 million (5.1, 11). The "CBS Evening News" bumped upward to 5.7 million viewers (4.0, 8) after last week's record low of 5.5 million.

A ratings point represents 1,130,000 households, or 1 percent of the nation's estimated 112.8 million TV homes. The share is the percentage of in-use televisions tuned to a given show.

For the week of Sept. 10-16, the top 10 shows, their networks and viewerships: "NBC Sunday Night Football," NBC, 15.32 million; "Emmy Awards," Fox, 12.95 million; "60 Minutes," CBS, 11.54 million; "Sunday Night NFL Pre-Kick," NBC, 11.09 million; "Two and a Half Men," CBS, 9.95 million; "Without a Trace," CBS, 9.47 million; "Big Brother" (Thursday), CBS, 8.89 million; "CSI: NY," CBS, 8.87 million; "Football Night in America," NBC, 8.59 million; "CSI: Crime Scene Investigation," CBS, 8.42 million.