Emmys earn second best overnight rating in 8 years

Despite airing on a Monday for the first time in nearly 40 years, the Primetime Emmy Awards delivered strong ratings for NBC last night, coming in lower than last year’s football-boosted affair as expected but still delivering the second best overnight number in eight years.

According to Nielsen metered-market overnights, the Seth Meyers-hosted kudocast netted a 10.9 household rating/18 share from 8 to 11 p.m., down 10% from last year’s 12.1/19 on CBS. Versus the most recent Emmys that did not benefit from an NFL lead-in, last night’s telecast was up 14% (10.9/18 vs. 9.6/15 from 8-11 p.m. on Sunday, Sept. 23, 2012 on ABC).

The Peacock outrated the other Big Four networks combined: CBS (3.3/5), ABC (3.2/5) and Fox (3.2/5). And this is NBC’s highest-rated Monday overnight rating (excluding Olympics) since its 2007 telecast of the Golden Globes.

Last year’s Emmys benefited from airing in the show’s traditional mid-September Sunday timeslot on CBS, and also followed a highly rated NFL game. It ended up averaging a 4.9 rating/13 share in adults 18-49 and 17.76 million viewers overall — some of the best numbers in years.

More reliable, time zone-adjusted preliminary estimates from Nielsen will be available later Tuesday morning.