The Emmy Awards hit an all-time ratings low during its 70th annual ceremony on Monday night, getting just 10.17 million viewers for its NBC broadcast.
It was an 11-percent drop form last year's television awards ceremony hosted on CBS by Stephen Colbert, which had 11.38 million viewers. It also marked the second time in three years the show reached an all-time low in viewership; the 2016 ceremony on ABC had the previous low of 11.3 million viewers.
The Emmys also hit a new low among adults 18-to-49 with just a 2.4 Nielsen rating, which indicates the estimated percentage of individuals in the group who tuned into the program.
Since NBC last aired the Emmys in 2014, the show's total audience has plummeted 35 percent, and the 18-to-49 demographic is down 43 percent, The Hollywood Reporter reports:
Demo ratings have been down each year; the total-viewer count has fallen in three of the past four years, save for the slight uptick in 2017.
The signs were there from the early numbers: The Emmy telecast scored a 7.4 household rating in metered markets. That's the smallest ever metered-market rating for the show (dating back to 1990) and down about 10 percent from the 2017 Emmys on CBS, which narrowly avoided being the least-watched on record.
While last year's show was heavy on anti-Donald Trump commentary from the liberal Colbert—and featured a widely panned cameo by ex-White House press secretary Sean Spicer—the 2018 Emmys hosted by Saturday Night Live‘s Michael Che and Colin Jost largely stayed away from explicit partisan politics.
Liberal culture sites panned Che and Jost's more laid-back style of hosting, as well as the show's continued winking and self-congratulatory references to having a diverse group of nominees, while giving awards to mainly white entertainers.
Pajiba declared the "Weekend Update" duo to be "not very good hosts." Vulture complained the show was "apolitical" even with the approaching midterms and said Che and Jost's "blasé attitudes were a weird fit for an awards show." The Daily Beast proclaimed the Emmys to be a "tone-deaf embarrassment."
This year's Oscars also hit an all-time low in TV viewership, with just 26.5 million viewers. The decline is tied in part to the rise of streaming and on-demand services that have led to less appointment television watching.