Emmy Awards Ratings Slide As The Same Shows (“Nobody” Watches) Always Win

Categories: Emmy Awards,TV Ratings Reference

Written By

September 19th, 2009

A story in the NY Times today discusses some changes that the Emmy Awards producers tried (and failed) to make to boost the ratings for the show that fell to its lowest level in nearly two decades last year (historical data below).

I think fiddling with the broadcast format misses the bigger problem that is highlighted by this quote from the same article.

If the same, relatively lightly viewed, shows keep winning year after year, why is the ratings slide a surprise?

Leading the pack with 22 nominations this year was “30 Rock,” the NBC comedy that last season ranked about 60th among all prime-time series in total audience, attracting about 7.5 million viewers per week, according to Nielsen Media Research. That is roughly the number of people who watch reruns of “Two and a Half Men” every day of the week.

Last year “30 Rock” won seven Emmys, including best comedy actor (Alec Baldwin), best comedy actress (Tina Fey) and, for the second straight year, best comedy series. The show is up for all three of those awards again this year....

via NYTimes.com.

Notable recent repeat Winners:

Outstanding Comedy Series: 2003, 2005, Everybody Loves Raymond; 2007, 2008, 30 Rock

Outstanding Drama Series: 2000-2003, The West Wing; 2004, 2007, The Sopranos

Outstanding Variety, Music or Comedy Series: 1998-2002 The Late Show With David Letterman; 2003-2008 The Daily Show

Outstanding Lead Actor Comedy Series: 2003, 2005, 2006 Tony Shalhoub

Outstanding Lead Actor Drama Series: 2000, 2001, 2003, James Gandolfini; 2004, 2005, 2007 James Spader

Outstanding Supporting Actor Comedy Series: 2002, 2003, 2005 Brad Garrett; 2006-2008 Jeremy Piven

Outstanding Reality-Competition Program: 2003-2008, The Amazing Race.

Here is a chart of the Emmy Awards viewership and 30 second ad cost from 1986 through 2008:

2006-8 viewers are Live+SD.

Here are the detailed historical Emmy Awards ratings and other data back to 1956 (updated with 2009 information):

Household Number of Number of **Cost per
Day Date Time Net rating Share Homes Viewers 30 Sec Spot
SUN 9/21/2009* 8:00PM-11:05PM CBS 8.7 14 10,015,000 13,471,000 $395,000
SUN 9/21/2008* 8:00PM-11:00PM ABC 8.2 13 9,371,000 12,339,000 $284,000
SUN 9/16/2007* 8:00PM-11:14PM FOX 8.4 14 9,445,000 12,951,000 $583,100
SUN 8/27/2006 * 8:00PM-11:00PM NBC 10.6 17 11,669,000 16,184,000 $435,000
SUN 9/18/05 8:00PM-11:03PM CBS 12.5 20 13,760,000 18,683,000 $528,100
SUN 9/19/04 8:00PM-10:58PM ABC 9.4 15 10,336,000 13,788,000 $441,900
SUN 9/21/03 8:00PM-11:05PM FOX 11.8 19 12,751,000 17,937,000 $520,000
SUN 9/22/02 8:00PM-11:15PM NBC 13.5 21 14,397,000 19,987,000 $475,000
SUN 11/4/01 8:00PM-11:04PM CBS 11.4 16 12,045,000 17,117,000 $383,400
SUN 9/10/00 8:00PM-11:05PM ABC 14.2 23 14,554,000 21,798,000 $424,400
SUN 9/12/99 8:00PM-11:00PM FOX 11.7 19 11,777,000 17,454,000 $400,000
SUN 9/13/98 7:00PM-11:01PM NBC 13.6 23 13,526,000 19,365,000 $323,000
SAT 9/14/97 8:00PM-11:01PM CBS 13.5 21 13,264,000 18,774,000 $327,900
SUN 9/8/96 8:00PM-11:00PM ABC 14.4 23 13,962,000 20,582,000 $242,000
SUN 9/10/95 8:00PM-11:00PM FOX 12.4 20 11,892,000 18,041,000 $277,900
SUN 9/11/94 8:00PM-11:02PM ABC 14.6 23 13,928,000 21,246,000 $223,000
SUN 9/19/93 8:00PM-11:01PM ABC 13.6 21 12,811,000 18,900,000 $221,600
SUN 8/30/92 8:00PM-11:32PM FOX 13.9 24 12,802,000 20,415,000 Not Available
SUN 8/25/91 8:00PM-11:04PM FOX 12.5 22 11,640,000 18,507,600 Not Available
SUN 9/16/90 8.00PM-11:15PM FOX 8.2 14 7,630,000 12,299,566 Not Available
SUN 9/17/89 8.00PM-11:00PM FOX 11.4 19 10,500,000 17,209,500 Not Available
SUN 8/28/88 8.00PM-11:22PM FOX 10.4 18 9,210,000 15,426,750 Not Available
SUN 9/20/87 8.00PM-11:00PM FOX 8.8 14 7,800,000 14,383,200 Not Available
SUN 9/21/86 8.00PM-11:01PM NBC 23.1 36 20,190,000 35,796,587 $179,000
SUN 9/22/85 8.00PM-11:00PM ABC 18.6 29 15,980,000 Not Available $170,000
SUN 9/23/84 9.04PM-12:39PM CBS 17.1 33 14,520,000 20,284,440 $198,900
SUN 9/25/83 8.00PM-11:22PM NBC 18.0 30 15,080,000 24,505,000 $160,000
SUN 9/19/82 8.00PM-11:04PM ABC 21.7 35 18,080,000 33,014,080
SUN 9/13/81 8.00PM-11:03PM CBS 22.3 37 18,170,000 Not Available
SUN 9/7/80 9.00PM-12:02AM NBC 15.0 29 11,670,000 Not Available
SUN 9/9/79 8.30PM-11:10PM ABC 27.3 45 20,830,000 Not Available
SUN 9/17/78 8.27PM-10:30PM CBS NL*
SUN 9/17/78 11.03PM-12:34AM CBS 18.3 33 13,630,000 Not Available
MON 5/17/76 9.00PM-11:40PM ABC 25.3 42 17,610,000 31,381,020
MON 5/19/75 9.00PM-11:05PM CBS 25.0 44 17,130,000 30,834,000
WED 9/4/74 10.00PM-11:40PM ABC 10.0 21 6,850,000 Not Available
SUN 5/20/73 9:00PM-11:10PM ABC 29.0 49 18,790,000 Not Available
SUN 5/6/72 10:00PM-12:15AM CBS 25.1 54 15,590,000 Not Available
SUN 5/9/71 10:00PM-12:00AM NBC 30.3 59 18,210,000 Not Available
SUN 6/7/70 9:00PM-11:20PM ABC 21.4 42 12,520,000 Not Available
SUN 6/8/69 10:00PM-12:05AM CBS 23.2 50 13,220,000 Not Available
SUN 5/19/68 9:00PM-11:00PM NBC 27.9 53 15,600,000 Not Available
SUN 6/4/67 9:00PM-11:15PM ABC 24.1 45 13,230,000 Not Available
SUN 5/22/66 10:00PM-11:45PM CBS 30.3 58 16,300,000 Not Available
SUN 9/12/65 10:00PM-12:00AM NBC 25.1 51 13,500,000 Not Available
MON 5/25/64 10:00PM-11:30PM NBC 31.9 65 16,360,000 Not Available
SUN 5/26/63 10:00PM-11:50PM NBC 29.8 63 14,840,000 Not Available
TUE 5/22/62 10:00PM-11:50PM NBC 28.1 61 13,769,000 Not Available
TUE 5/16/61 10:00PM-11:30PM NBC 32.7 64 15,336,000 Not Available
* PRIOR TO 1961 RATINGS WERE CALCULATED ACCORDING TO EACH NETWORK'S UNIVERSE.
THEREFORE, EACH NETWORK'S  RATING WAS A PERCENTAGE OF ITS OWN UNIVERSE
WED 5/6/59 10:00PM-11:30PM NBC 33.3 57 Not Available Not Available
TUE 4/15/58 10:00PM-11:30PM NBC 33.5 59 Not Available Not Available
SUN 3/16/57 9:00PM-10:30PM NBC 27.2 41 Not Available Not Available
SUN 3/17/56 9:00PM-10:30PM NBC 29.8 44 Not Available Not Available

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*Cost Per Thousand books not available for years 1987,1988,1989,1990,1991 and 1992
* NL stands for ‘next listing’ which signifies the telecast had a time interruption and the rating data is reported in the next entry listed in this column.

NOTE: The Emmy Awards during 1948 -1953 were not yet broadcast nationally -- In 1948 the EMMYS were broadcast on KTSL-TV, Los Angeles.
1949 the program was broadcast on KFI-TV in Los Angeles, in 1950 on KLAC-TV, Los Angeles. and in 1951 on KECA-TV, Los Angeles

*Ad expenditure data should be sourced as Nielsen Monitor-Plus
Source: NTI Pocketpieces, Nielsen Audience Composition Reports and Nielsen Galaxy Explorer
Copyright 2008 The Nielsen Company

* Live +Same Day Viewing Estimates Include DVR Playback On The Same Day, Defined As 3AM-3AM

 
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