The 68th Primetime Emmys drew historically low ratings

Slippage is 3% in overnight households from last year's telecast on Fox, which had already lowered the bar on viewership

Broadcast networks did not win a lot of trophies at the "68th Primetime Emmy Awards," hosted by Jimmy Kimmel, last night. And ABC, which aired the broadcast, also had a rough night in the ratings.

The show dipped to an 8.4 rating/13 share in the household overnights, which is the lowest such rating on record. Compared to last year’s Emmys, this is 3% below the 8.7 rating/14 share in households that Fox drew for last year’s Emmys, which translated into a record low 11.87 million viewers (based on the Live + Same Day data from Nielsen). The adult 18-49 rating, always the primary demographic, was a 3.6.

Based on the Live + Same Day ratings, the viewer tally for the Emmys this year is now the smallest historically at 11.3 million.  Comparably, this was 5% below last year’s prior low.  The adult 18-49 was a 2.8, which was down by a significant 22%.

Last night’s highest-rated show was the "Sunday Night Football" match-up on NBC, the Green Bay Packers and the Minnesota Vikings, at an estimated 13.7/22 in the household during primetime, according to the overnights. One year earlier, the Seattle Seahawks at the Green Bay Packers scored 16.3/27. CBS was also on the map care of part one of "The Case Of: JonBenet Ramsey" at a very respectable 7.1/11 from 8:30-10:30 p.m. The conclusion airs this evening.

Based on the fast affiliate results, the tally for the football match-up in primetime was in the vicinity of 19.70 million viewers, while the JonBenet Ramsey special (which could include lead-in "60 Minutes" in the first half-hour) is at approximately 10.29 million viewers. In other words, it looks like the Emmys finished third in total viewers (pending the Live + Same Day data results tomorrow).

Also of note, and also an indication of the shift away from the broadcast networks a la critical acclaim, were repeat victories for "Game of Thrones" and "Veep," both on HBO, as the Outstanding Drama and Comedy Series, respectively. "Game of Thrones" is now the most Emmy honored regularly scheduled series on record, moving ahead of former leader "Frasier." And a victory for Julia Louis-Dreyfus in the Lead Actress Comedy category for "Veep" places her in a tie with Candice Bergen of "Murphy Brown" fame with five Emmys for the same role.

Including the Creative Arts Emmy Awards, HBO was easily the most-honored platform with 43 statuettes. In the distant No. 2 spot was NBC with 12 Emmys, which included a repeat victory for "The Voice" as Outstanding Reality Competition Series.


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