September 24, 2012 / 6:58 PM / 6 years ago

ABC draws more viewers to Emmy awards broadcast

Howard Gordon thanks writer Gideon Raff (L) and writing partner Alex Gansa (R) as they accept the award for outstanding writing in a drama series for "Homeland" at the 64th Primetime Emmy Awards in Los Angeles, September 23, 2012. REUTERS/Lucy Nicholson

LOS ANGELES (Reuters) - Sunday night’s Emmys telecast on ABC attracted a bigger audience than a year earlier as viewers watched new psychological thriller “Homeland” secure major wins and shut out acclaimed drama “Mad Men.”

The television industry’s highest honors grabbed an average of 13.2 million viewers, according to Nielsen data. The audience was 6 percent larger than the 12.4 million who tuned in a year ago when Fox broadcast the awards, Walt Disney-owned ABC said.

NBC’s “Sunday Night Football” game between the Baltimore Ravens and New England Patriots won the night as expected, pulling in about 19.8 million viewers. The weekly Sunday evening football matchup consistently ranks as the top program in its time slot.

Ratings for entertainment awards programs have been in decline for years as they struggle to stay relevant to viewers. Many of the most-honored TV dramas and comedies draw relatively small audiences, according to Nielsen data.

ABC late-night host Jimmy Kimmel hosted this year’s Emmy awards, which honored “Homeland” with six trophies and left “Mad Men” empty-handed despite 17 nominations.

“Homeland” takes place in a post 9/11 world and stars Claire Danes as a CIA officer pursuing a possible rogue Marine played by Damian Lewis. “Mad Men” explores the business and personal lives of 1960s advertising executives.

ABC also used the broadcast to promote its new fall programs one day before the 2012-2013 television season officially kicks off.

Comcast Corp owns NBC. Fox is a unit of News Corp.

Reporting By Lisa Richwine; editing by Carol Bishopric

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