Now that all the trophies have been put on their respective shelves, it’s no slight to say Monday night’s 74th Primetime Emmy Awards ended up being a tricky mix of the arcane, retro and optimistic, among other things. Offscreen, NBC’s Kenan Thompson-hosted broadcast of television’s big night had to contend with the awkward reality of a matchup with Monday Night Football’s season debut on ABC and ESPN.
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There was a white-knuckle 17-16 win for the Seattle Seahawks over former teammate Russell Wilson and the Denver Broncos in the Emerald City. Here in the City of Angels, there was a bit less drama and more déjà vu with HBO’s Succession, Euphoria’s Zendaya, and AppleTV+’s Ted Lasso scoring big Emmy wins for the second year in a row. HBO’s The White Lotus, Netflix’s Squid Game and ABC’s Abbott Elementary also took home some golden hardware.
Yet, with the Emmys airing on a Monday for the first time since 2018, a very different digital landscape today, declining award shows attraction and that NFL counterprogramming, almost no one expected the 2022 ceremony to achieve any audience heights.
And no one will be disappointed.
Running a touch over three hours, the 74th Primetime Emmy Awards drew 5.92 million viewers and a 1.09/8 rating last night on NBC. Unsurprisingly, that is an all-time low for TV’s big night, which also streamed on Peacock
In context, that’s down 19% in sets of eyeballs from what the 73rd Emmys pulled in for CBS on a Sunday night last year. Also shown on Paramount+ and facing Sunday Night Football on NBC, the 2021 ceremony bucked the bookie’s prediction. The Cedric the Entertainer-fronted show saw the 2021 Emmys bop up from the then-all-time low of the 6.4 million who watched the semi-virtual 2020 shindig on ABC.
Of course, that year-to-year comparison only goes so far with the Emmys on a Monday.
In that context, the crowd tuning in for 2022 Emmy Awards fell a very harsh 41% from the 70th Primetime Emmy Awards. Among the 18-49 demo, the NBC-to-NBC decline was just over 54%.
Held on Monday, September 17, 2018, on NBC, the Lorne Michaels-produced event hosted by SNL‘s Michael Che and Colin Jost featured appearances from Thompson and John Legend, like this year. The Game of Thrones-dominated 2018 Emmys also was up against a very well-watched MNF as the Chicago Bears tore into the Seahawks (not those guys again!) with a 24-17 win.
In a pre-Peacock era, the final numbers for the 70th Primetime Emmy Awards saw the show snare 10.17 million viewers. An all-time Emmy low at the time, that number seems almost aspirational nowadays.
To give further texture to the 2022 Emmy viewership results, we will update this post with MNF data when it becomes available to us from Disney-owned ESPN and ABC. We do know that on the broadcast net, the Seahawks-Broncos game garnered 10.29 million viewers — almost double the Emmys.
Speaking of ABC, the 75th Primetime Emmy Awards will be on the network next year.
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