Emmy Ratings Low Delivers Awards-Show Gut Check

Just when last week’s ratings resurgence for the Golden Globes had us all feeling good, along comes the Emmy Awards — rescheduled from its usual September slot because of Hollywood strikes — to deliver an all-time audience low to shake our confidence in awards show all over again.

Fox’s Monday, Jan. 15, airing of the 75th annual Emmy Awards delivered an audience of 4.3 million total viewers, marking a new low for the kudocast, according to Nielsen data. What happened with Fox’s airing of the Emmys on Jan. 15? Did host Anthony Anderson not make us laugh enough? Should we be worried about the upcoming Grammys and Oscars, which are coming off their strongest telecasts in several years?

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Fear not, says Andrew Wallenstein, president and chief media analyst of Variety Intelligence Platform. In the latest episode of Variety‘s Strictly Business podcast, Wallenstein analyzes why 2024 was a singularly bad year for Emmys due to a perfect storm of factors beyond its control.

“Before you ring the alarm for the TV industry, let’s not panic just yet,” Wallenstein says in the podcast.

Among the issues: Given the rescheduled date, the Emmys honored the same TV shows — namely, HBO’s “Succession” and FX’s “The Bear” — that had just picked up a slew of honors at the Golden Globes a week prior. The latest Emmys also was in the unenviable position of vying for attention with the Monday night NFL playoff game (between the Philadelphia Eagles and the Tampa Bay Buccaneers) as well as results from the Iowa Republican presidential caucus.

Listen to the podcast here:

While Emmys viewership probably won’t bounce back significantly in the years ahead, the 2024 show should represent a new floor, Wallenstein predicts. “I think places like the Emmys will bring us all together to celebrate what success is,” he says.

“Strictly Business” is Variety’s weekly podcast featuring conversations with industry leaders about the business of media and entertainment. A new episode debuts each week and can be downloaded on iTunes, Spotify, Stitcher and SoundCloud.

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