2021 Emmy Awards Bounce Back with 7.4 Million Viewers, Up from Last Year's Record Low

cedric the entertainer
cedric the entertainer

Cliff Lipson/CBS

The 73rd Primetime Emmy Awards made a comeback after the coronavirus pandemic forced the biggest night in television to go mostly virtual last year.

According to Nielsen data, about 7.4 million people tuned in Sunday night for the 2021 ceremony, hosted by Cedric the Entertainer on CBS, the Associated Press reported Monday. In comparison, a "record low" 6.1 million people watched the so-called "Pandemmys" last year, down from an audience of 6.9 million in 2019, per the AP.

This year's awards show, hosted at L.A. Live's Event Deck in lieu of the indoor Microsoft Theater to heed COVID-19 concerns, welcomed a limited audience of nominees and their guests. The Academy of Television Arts & Sciences also capped the number of people allowed on the red carpet.

On-site media, all guests, crew, and vendors were required to show proof of COVID-19 vaccination in order to be admitted, and also show a negative test for the viral disease taken within 48 hours of the big event, the Television Academy said.

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During the show, The Crown dominated the drama categories, with the four acting prizes going to Gillian Anderson, Tobias Menzies, Josh O'Connor and Olivia Colman. Additionally, Ted Lasso won four awards, including outstanding comedy series, while Mare of Easttown won big in the limited series category.

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History was also made Sunday night as RuPaul's Drag Race took home the outstanding competition program honor, making RuPaul the record holder for most Emmys of any Black artist, with 11 total statues.