Emmy Awards Ratings and Viewership Decline, Hit All-Time Low

Host Stephen Colbert performs onstage during the 69th Annual Primetime Emmy Awards / Getty Images

Host Stephen Colbert performs onstage during the 69th Annual Primetime Emmy Awards / Getty Images

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The primetime Emmy Awards show is reported to have experienced its third straight decline in ratings and viewership Sunday night, hitting a record low.

Toward the start of the 69th year of Emmy Awards, host Stephen Colbert brought former White House Press Secretary Sean Spicer out on stage to predict that the Emmys would have "the largest audience to witness an Emmys, period– both in person and around the world."

Ironically, the CBS broadcasted show hit an all-time record low, stealing the spot from last years’ Emmy Awards, which received a low of 11.3 million viewers, and a 2.8 rating among adults 18 to 49 in the final numbers, Deadline Hollywood reported.

The "Late Show" host, in his Emmy debut, took multiple shots at President Donald Trump that included an inauguration inspired gag Deadline called "hopeful" and "hollow." Such routines have been the norm at start-studded award shows as of late, including at the Oscars, Grammys, and SAG awards, CNBC reported.

The drop in viewership, which is based on early numbers, continues a trend from previous years when the headlines looked strikingly similar.

In 2016, the Guardian wrote, "Jimmy Kimmel’s stint as host struggled against Sunday Night Football and a JonBenét Ramsey documentary."

The New York Times wrote in 2016 that in addition to NFL football, there are a number of factors that could be contributing to the slump. Experts speculated the drop could be a result of the "cyclical nature of awards shows," which fall in and out of favor, "consumer behavior" starting to affect big live event programming, or the "abundance of TV shows these days" and the fact that many are too niche to attack widespread viewership.

Despite the apparent baiting by Hollywood – including Colbert, "Saturday Night Live" Trump impersonator Alec Baldwin, and other celebrities – Trump remained radio silent on Twitter regarding the awards show. He did, however, celebrate the 70th birthday of the U.S. Air Force and CIA Monday morning.

Katelyn Caralle

Katelyn Caralle   Email Katelyn | Full Bio | RSS
Katelyn Caralle is a media analyst at the Washington Free Beacon. Before joining Free Beacon, Katelyn worked as a Digital Strategy Intern at The Heritage Foundation. She graduated from Bloomsburg University of Pennsylvania in 2016 where she served as Editor-in-Chief of The Voice.

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