NEW YORK: Grammy producers avoided the Zoom awkwardness of other pandemic-era awards shows and gave music-starved fans performances by the industry’s biggest stars. And viewers still stayed away.
CBS’ Grammys telecast reached 9.2 million television and streaming viewers Sunday, the lowest number on record and a precipitous 51% drop from last year, the Nielsen company said.
That followed the Golden Globes’ 63% decline in ratings a few weeks ago and record low ratings for the Emmy Awards last fall.
That’s enough for television executives to worry about whether this is just pandemic-related or if they can no longer depend on these traditional attention-getting events. The Oscars, coming up next month on ABC, has often been the year’s most-watched television event after the Super Bowl.
There are multiple factors, including the decline of broadcast TV in general and the fragmentation of entertainment: There are fewer movies, TV shows and songs that pull society together. Social media also allows fans to catch highlights of an awards show later instead of watching the full event, which for Sunday’s Grammys lasted nearly four hours.
For the Grammys, the ratings decline came despite the general view that it was a well-produced event.
CBS won the week, averaging 4.9 million viewers in prime time. NBC had 4 million, ABC had 3.4 million, Fox had 2.6 million, Univision had 1.4 million, Ion Television had 1.2 million and Telemundo had 1 million.
Fox News Channel led the cable networks, averaging 2.45 million viewers in prime time. MSNBC had 1.84 million, CNN had 1.29 million, HGTV had 1.15 million and ESPN had 1.06 million.
ABC’s World News Tonight” won the evening news ratings race, averaging 8.9 million viewers. NBC’s Nightly News had 7.3 million and the CBS Evening News had 5.3 million.
For the week of March 8-14, the top 20 programs, their networks and viewerships:
1. NCIS, CBS, 9.78 million.
2. Grammy Awards, CBS, 9.23 million.
3. 60 Minutes, CBS, 8.14 million.
4. FBI, CBS, 7.66 million.
5. Chicago Med, NBC, 7.571 million.
6. The Voice (Monday), NBC, 7.57 million.
7. Chicago Fire, NBC, 7.04 million.
8. The Voice (Tuesday), NBC, 6.89 million.
9. Young Sheldon, CBS, 6.49 million.
10. President Biden’s Address to Nation, ABC, 6.34 million.
11. 911, Fox, 6.28 million.
12. FBI: Most Wanted, CBS, 6.15 million.
13. Chicago PD, NBC, 5.89 million.
14. President Biden’s Address to Nation, CBS, 5.83 million.
15. The Masked Singer, Fox, 5.66 million.
16. The Neighborhood, CBS, 5.62 million.
17. American Idol, ABC, 5.5 million.
18. Station 19, ABC, 5.41 million.
19. 911: Lone Star, Fox, 5.36 million.
20. Bob Hearts Abishola, CBS, 5.21 million.
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