The 73rd Primetime Emmy Awards on CBS rebounded from last year’s all-time low ratings, reversing steady declines with a 16% gain of viewership to 7.4 million, compared to approximately 6.37 million viewers in 2020.
Per the accurate Nielsen Live+Same Day time-zone adjusted fast nationals for Sunday night, the ceremony averaged the total time spent across linear and digital platforms was over 1.4 billion minutes.
More from Variety
Even before the pandemic, the Emmys were struggling to stay on our collective radars, plummeting to a historic viewership drop-off in 2020 of approximately 12% compared to 2019’s host-less ceremony on Fox. The 7.4 million score for Sunday night’s show does not include “out of home” viewing and CBS estimates that it will likely increase upwards to 7.9 million when final numbers are released by Nielsen tomorrow.
The last Emmy telecast to outpace last night’s showing was in 2018, when the Emmy telecast drew a 2.4 rating in adults 18-49 and attracted 10.2 million viewers on NBC. The 2018 ratings in itself represented a then-low, and an 11% decline compared to 2017.
It should be noted that the Emmys faced stiff competition yesterday evening, as the show aired against both NBC’s “Sunday Night Football” and a New York Mets versus Philadelphia Phillies MLB game in the primetime window. Though hosted by Cedric the Entertainer and full of buzzy highlights such as a Biz Markie sing-a-long tribute with a rapping Rita Wilson, non-stop wins for Apple TV Plus’ wholesome soccer comedy “Ted Lasso,” a moving acceptance speech from multi-hyphenate Michaela Coel and general Conan O’Brien buffoonery, the chatter on social media simply did not pull as many eyes as the Kansas City Chiefs versus Baltimore Ravens football face-off. Thus far, the NBC sports broadcast has garnered 20.2 million viewers in time-zone adjusted Nielsen Live+Same Day overnight ratings and Adobe Analytics figures. In addition, the game registered a national TV household rating of 10.8— up 8% from last year, marking the largest Week 2 NBC “Sunday Night Football” audience since the New York Giants versus Dallas Cowboys in 2018.
The Emmys were the top trending topic across social media platforms for over 13 hours last night and drove over 43 billion potential impressions, up 33% compared to 2020 as well as 2019.
When folks weren't tuning into the glitzy in-person Hollywood event last night or the NFL game, they were watching re-runs of "America's Funniest Home Videos" on ABC, "The Simpsons" and "Family Guy" on Fox and "Penn & Teller: Fool Us" and "Wellington Paranormal." Also on last night were new episodes of "Fantasy Island," "Celebrity Family Feud," "The Chase," "To Tell the Truth" and a sneak-peek of "Alter Ego," the world's first avatar singing competition on Fox.
Check out a full list of last night's Emmy winners here.
Best of Variety