September 21, 2015 / 6:34 PM / 3 years ago

Emmy awards show draws record low TV audience

Actress Julia Louis-Dreyfus poses backstage as she holds the awards for Outstanding Comedy Series and for Outstanding Lead Actress In A Comedy Series for her role in HBO's "Veep" at the 67th Primetime Emmy Awards in Los Angeles, California September 20, 2015. REUTERS/Mike Blake

LOS ANGELES (Reuters) - The Emmy Awards show, television’s biggest night, drew the smallest TV audience on record, despite big wins for HBO’s popular medieval fantasy series “Game of Thrones.”

Preliminary Nielsen ratings data on Monday showed that just 11.9 million Americans watched Sunday’s Emmy Awards telecast which was broadcast live on Fox television in competition with NBC’s “Sunday Night Football.”

The Emmys TV audience was some 4 million fewer than the 2014 event, and the smallest in the award show’s history. The top-rated Emmys in recent years was the 2013 show, where comedies “Modern Family” and drama “Breaking Bad” won the top awards and which drew 17.76 million viewers overall.

Sunday’s ceremony brought surprise best series wins for both “Game of Thrones” - one of the most popular dramas on U.S. television - and HBO’s satirical White House show “Veep.”

It also made history when Viola Davis, star of “How To Get Away With Murder,” became the first black woman in the 67-year history of the Emmys to take home the statuette for lead actress in a drama series.

The National Football League game between the Green Bay Packers and Seattle Seahawks on “Sunday Night Football” drew 23 million viewers.

Reporting By Jill Serjeant; Editing by Piya Sinha-Roy and Grant McCool

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