Emmys Show Wins Uptick In Ratings

Emmy Awards on CBS/Glenn Close

Up against one of the strongest prime-time NFL football games in years, the Emmy Awards eked out a small gain in viewers from last year's historic lows.

The "61st Emmy Awards" on CBS managed a modest 11% rise to a Nielsen preliminary 4.2 rating/11 share among 18-49 viewers and an 8% gain to 13.3 million total average viewers.

Big winners on the Emmys were mostly a rerun of a year ago: best drama, AMC's "Mad Men"; best comedy, NBC's "30 Rock"; best drama actress, Glenn Close for FX's "Damages"; best drama actor, Bryan Cranston of AMC's "Breaking Bad"; best variety, music or comedy series, Comedy Central's "The Daily Show with Jon Stewart."

While the news was good for the TV awards ceremony, it was still the third-lowest average for viewers ever.

The show was up against perhaps the two of the strongest brand names in the NFL: the New York Giants and Dallas Cowboys. In addition, viewers were moved to watch, as the game was a close one right until the end.



NBC surged to its best ratings ever for "Sunday Night Football" and the strongest NFL prime-time game in a decade: an 8.7 rating/22 share among 18-49 viewers and 22.4 million overall average viewers.

For the night, NBC posted the best results overall -- a 7.1/19 among 18-49 viewers. CBS was next with a 4.5/12 -- which in addition to its Emmy ratings, gained from its own NFL coverage, spilling over into prime time from its late afternoon games.

Fox was next at a 2.1/6 -- somewhat competitive with its Sunday comedies in repeats: "Family Guy" posted a 2.6/6 and "The Simpsons" a 2.5/6.

ABC took the night off of sorts, running movie "King Kong." For the night, it took in a 1.1/3. Univision scored a 0.7/2 and the CW finished with a 0.4/1.

2 comments about "Emmys Show Wins Uptick In Ratings".
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  1. Rob Frydlewicz from DentsuAegis, September 22, 2009 at 9:32 a.m.

    Come on Wayne, a "modest" gain? Sounds like you're disappointed! I'm sure if the rating for the Emmys fell by 11% you likely wouldn't have referred to it with such a begrudging adjective. As you even pointed out, the fact that this improvement occurred opposite the big audience for the NFL game makes this jump even more impressive.


  2. L.a. Peters from Audience Research Analysis, September 22, 2009 at 10:41 a.m.

    I'd say "modest" is appropriate though I'd tend to analyze it as generally flat.

    The Emmys (as usual) drew a lower average audience than many of the TV shows it snubbed, and quadruple the viewers of many of the boutique series it honored. As such it's a Dead Awards Show Walking. In the larger picture, an NFL game is barely relevant.

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