“Game of Thrones” and “Fleabag” were the big winners of Sunday’s Emmy awards, but the biggest loser might have been the ceremony itself.
This year’s Emmys on Fox declined 32% from last year’s record-low NBC broadcast, according to Nielsen ratings, sinking to a new all-time low of 6.9 million viewers.
The Emmys aired on a Monday last year and didn’t go up against Sunday Night Football. But the huge decline in ratings could also highlight a bigger issue with the TV awards show.
Not a single scripted TV series from a major US broadcast network won an Emmy on Sunday, which could alienate a chunk of viewers (“SNL” won for best variety sketch series).
HBO’s mega-popular series “Game of Thrones” took home the award for best drama for the fourth time. Amazon Prime Video’s “Fleabag” won best comedy series and other major awards. HBO’s “Chernobyl” won best limited series. Netflix’s “When They See Us” won best actor in a drama series. And so on.
In short, the Emmys were dominated by streaming and cable — mainly premium cable, at that — and broadcast network shows are slowly disappearing from the awards.
The two shows from a major broadcast network that were up for best drama and comedy series — NBC’s “This Is Us” and “The Good Place,” respectively — didn’t win anything on Sunday. Viola Davis lost out on best actress in a drama for ABC’s “How To Get Away With Murder.” Anthony Anderson didn’t win the award for best actor in a comedy for ABC’s “Black-ish.”
The low Emmys ratings come after the February Oscars telecast on ABC rose 6% from last year. The Emmys attempted to replicate the success by not hiring a host for the show, but to disappointing results.