« 60th Emmy Awards reviews | Main | Reality host postmortem: 'We knew this was going to be a disaster' »

September 22, 2008

60th Emmys hit all-time ratings low

UPDATED: And the award for lowest-rated Emmys ever goes to ...

ABC's Sunday night telecast.

The three-hour 60th Primetime Emmy Awards ceremony received a 3.8 rating/9 share in the national adults 18-49 demo -- the lowest in Nielsen's recorded People Meter history.

That's 12% below last year's previous Emmy record low, a ceremony hosted by Ryan Seacrest on Fox.

Among total viewers, the Emmys climbed a tenth of a point in the final ratings to 12.3 million, matching the least-watched ceremony in history -- Fox's 1990 telecast -- and were firmly less than 2007's ceremony (13 million).

The ceremony, emceed by five reality series hosts, was largely derided by critics, who found the presentation's pacing off kilter and its jokes unfunny. A painful opening segment where the hosts deliberately talked about nothing was slammed by reviewers and fellow Emmy nominees alike. (In the video clip: Seth MacFarlane talks Emmy ratings.) 

ABC's red carpet lead-in "Jimmy Kimmel's Big Night of Stars" (4.6 million, 1.2/4) placed fourth in its 7 p.m. time slot, falling 12% from last year's preshow.

Like last year, the Awards were given heavy competition from Sunday Night Football (19.2 million, 8.1/19) on NBC, which easily won the night with a Cowboys vs. Packers game (NBC's numbers are expected to shift in the nationals, however). The season premiere of "60 Minutes" -- featuring interviews with John McCain and Barack Obama -- is also of interest, but those early numbers are tainted by overrun from an NFL game and won't be accurate until the nationals.

Industry insiders expected the awards to sink to a grim new watermark given that AMC low-rated "Mad Men" was the most-nominated drama, and NBC's modestly rated "30 Rock" was the most-honored comedy. Most of the other shows that took home major awards (such as FX's "Damages" and HBO's "John Adams") were likewise niche draws.

The Emmy Awards performance makes for a dubious start to premiere week, when broadcasters roll out the bulk of their programming debuts.

NBC topped the night with NFL, followed by ABC with the Emmys, CBS with NFL overrun, "60 Minutes" (3.2/9) and repeats, then a repeat-filled Fox.

THR's Emmy news recap: Awards a night of firsts ... Winners list ... Reality makes splash ...

Ratings will be updated when the nationals come in Tuesday. See the full list of weekend posts on The Live Feed main page for backstage Emmy blogging ...


TrackBack URL for this entry:

Listed below are links to weblogs that reference 60th Emmys hit all-time ratings low:

» Emmy Ratings Break All Records! from Vulture
The least-watched Emmys in history! [Read More]

» How Many Oscar Hosts Does It Take to Replace Jackman? from Vulture
The answer is infinity. [Read More]

Sign up for The Live Feed daily email newsletter:

If you wish to only receive the morning ratings, get the Hollywood Reporter's ratings alert.
Follow us on Twitter;
Subscribe using RSS.
New: The Live Feed mobile-friendly version.
Get headlines delivered to your Google or Yahoo homepage:
 Add to Google Reader or Homepage

Ain't It Cool News - Coaxial
Deadline Hollywood Daily
Drudge Report
Fark: Showbiz
Hollywood Reporter
Hollywood Wiretap
Huffington Post
Just Jared
Lisa de Moraes
Michael Ausiello
NY Post: Vulture
Perez Hilton
Pop Candy
Reality Blurred
Television Without Pity
The Futon Critic
The Wrap
THR BLOGS: Heat Vision Blog
THR BLOGS: Hollywood Reporter Pilot Log
THR BLOGS: Risky Business
Tim Goodman: The Bastard Machine
Time's Tuned In
TV Barn
TV by the Numbers
TV Decoder
TV Squad
TV Tattle
TV Tracker
Warming Glow

The Hollywood Reporter is Your Complete Film Resource

The columnists and bloggers who write for The Hollywood Reporter have their collective finger on the pulse of the boxoffice. From Martin Grove and the rest, THR columnists deliver their thoughts on the film industry in an uncompromised style. Subscribe to THR today and get the latest views from these film experts and get the latest movie reviews as well.