Emmys TV audience drops to 15.6 million with Monday switch

Tue Aug 26, 2014 4:01pm EDT
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By Piya Sinha-Roy

LOS ANGELES (Reuters) - After moving up a month and switching to a weekday evening, Monday's Primetime Emmy awards drew 15.6 million viewers, a drop from last year's Sunday night show despite a new host, a passionate kiss and a touching tribute.

This year's Emmy awards, which saw AMC's drug drama "Breaking Bad" and ABC's hit "Modern Family" take home the top awards in drama and comedy, drew the second-highest viewership in the past eight years, NBC said on Tuesday, citing Nielsen ratings figures.

The show, which was also moved a month earlier to August, drew 5.3 million viewers in the 18-to-49 demographic coveted by advertisers.

On social media, Emmys were a top trending topic on Twitter throughout the telecast, while 6.2 million people discussed the show on Facebook.

Key moments from the night included "Veep" winner Julia Louis-Dreyfus locking lips with Bryan Cranston for a passionate kiss as a throwback to their "Seinfeld" days as she went up to collect her best comedy actress award, and an audience question-and-answer session with Melissa McCarthy asking whether her illegally parked car would get towed.

The show also featured Billy Crystal's touching and funny tribute to the late Robin Williams.

Comcast Corp's NBC said the Emmys telecast beat rival broadcast networks in the 8 p.m.-to-11 p.m. time period, with CBS Corp's CBS, Twenty-First Century Fox Inc's FOX and Walt Disney Co's ABC drawing a combined total of 13.8 million viewers on Monday.

Last year's show, which took place on a Sunday in September and was hosted by Neil Patrick Harris on CBS, drew 17.6 million viewers.   Continued...

The cast and crew of AMC's "Breaking Bad" pose with their outstanding drama series award at the 66th Primetime Emmy Awards in Los Angeles, California August 25, 2014.  REUTERS/Mike Blake