Strike-delayed Emmys plumb new ratings depths

The final season of 'Succession' dominated the star-studded evening

By AFP

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Published: Wed 17 Jan 2024, 4:50 PM

The strike-delayed Emmy Awards logged their lowest-ever viewer ratings, preliminary figures showed Tuesday, as the downward trend in audiences for the gala event continues.

The final season of Succession dominated the star-studded evening, which also saw big wins for The Bear and Beef, in a slickly produced ceremony peppered with nostalgia celebrating decades of TV favourites.

But even with some of the biggest names from the small screen present, just 4.3 million viewers tuned in, a spokesperson for broadcaster FOX said, down from 5.9 million for the last edition in 2022.

The gala show had been postponed from its usual September perch because Hollywood was in stasis thanks to a combined writers' and actors' strike.

Both were resolved late last year. But pushing the ceremony to January -- right in the middle of the film awards season -- meant many of the TV shows it celebrated were things of the past.

The Monday night slot also put it head-to-head with a win-or-go-home playoff game in American football's immensely popular NFL, with millions of fans tuning in to watch the Tampa Bay Buccaneers thump the Philadelphia Eagles.

"This was the first time ever the Emmy Awards aired against an NFL playoff game, given the ceremony has historically aired in August/September," the FOX spokesperson said, while touting it as the most-watched Monday night entertainment program on the network in the last 18 months.

Awards shows generally have struggled to attract viewers in recent years as audiences fragment and younger demographics eschew linear television in favour of streaming and social media.

But last week's Golden Globe Awards appeared to have stanched its outflow, with preliminary figures showing 9.4 million people tuned in -- despite a flailing host -- up nearly half on the year before.

And the Oscars last year also saw a bump as host Jimmy Kimmel offered a safe pair of hands for a gala that has struggled to attract eyeballs in recent years. Both shows, however, remain a long way from where they were a decade or so earlier as guaranteed ratings blockbusters. AFP

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