Emmy telecast bombs in ratings and reviews

Mon Sep 22, 2008 11:09pm EDT
Email This Article |
Share This Article
  • Facebook
  • LinkedIn
  • Twitter
| Print This Article | Single Page
[-] Text [+]

By Steve Gorman

LOS ANGELES (Reuters) - The 60th annual Primetime Emmys show, roundly panned by critics as perhaps the worst ever, laid a big, fat ratings egg as well, with early figures pointing to the smallest audience in the awards' history.

According to preliminary data from Nielsen Media Research, ABC's three-hour Sunday telecast, featuring major wins for "Mad Men" and "30 Rock," averaged 12.2 million viewers, falling just below the historic low of 12.3 million posted by the 1990 ceremony aired on Fox.

Final national ratings for Sunday's broadcasts are due Tuesday.

By comparison, 13 million viewers tuned in for last year's ceremony and its farewell send-off of "The Sopranos," which ranked as the second-lowest Emmys audience on the books.

Sunday's telecast no doubt suffered from the fact that the shows and stars getting most of the attention, including best drama "Mad Men," comedy champion "30 Rock" and winning actors from shows like "Damages" and "Breaking Bad," represent programs that draw relatively few viewers themselves.

The Emmy telecast on ABC also collided in the eastern half of the country with NBC's highly rated Sunday Night Football broadcast of the Dallas Cowboys' 27-16 defeat of the Green Bay Packers.

And many New York viewers were likely siphoned off by an ESPN telecast of the last baseball game by the New York Yankees at historic Yankee Stadium.

Still, ABC's cause was not helped by an Emmy presentation that critics largely derided as a flop, especially an oddly ad-libbed opening monologue shared by five reality-show hosts who served as the evening's collective emcees.   Continued...