The Emmy Awards Have Lowest Televised Viewership, Ever.
It turns out that daring viewers who disagree with you politically or socially to not watch your show is a bad idea. Just ask Stephen Colbert after the 69th Primetime Emmy Awards. To coin a phrase from “Whose Line Is It, Anyway?”
“Welcome to the Emmy Awards, where everything is made up and the points don’t matter.”
After last year’s embarrassing ratings dive of the 68th Primetime Emmy Awards, hosted by late night ABC host Jimmy Kimmel, hit an all-time low in viewership, Stephen Colbert said, “Hold my Perrier!” Going from just a little more than 11 million viewers in 2016 to forgetting in 2017 to honor Erin Moran, William Christopher, Charlie Murphy, Dick Gregory and others in their “sped-up” memoriam of stars whose lives mattered to fans has garnered a new low. Maybe the whole show should have been a memoriam.
But it wasn’t just a low, it was an all-time low. Colbert’s hosting duties drew a 2.2 rating in national numbers. To give you perspective on what that means, that is 12% lower than the lowest from last year. It also means that only 9.58 million people watched what is considered to be the biggest event in Hollywood for television every year.
There are multiple reasons why this is happening, not the least of which is that people are tired of being called out by those paid to entertain them for political views and social ideas. Even NFL Football games, a once unbeatable ratings juggernaut, is seeing weaker returns in viewership this year as opposed to years prior for the same reason.
On top of that, the majority of us are watching shows that Hollywood isn’t! Regardless the political views, many haven’t even heard of a lot of the nominees. Maybe they’re better in some way, but if no one chooses to watch, are they really better and could it even be proven? Shows like “The Goldbergs” and “The Middle” are winning the ratings war (the viewership that actually matters to advertisers) hand-over-fist and by millions of viewers, yet aren’t even nominated. There’s a reason people are tuning out award shows, in general. We no longer relate to them.
Another reason any episode of WWE’s scripted wrestling show “RAW” gets a higher demographic rating than the biggest TV award show of the year? There’s no entertainment value left for an average fan in award shows. There used to be skits that would entertain an average viewer and keep them engaged. Sadly, comedy isn’t allowed anymore. It’s one big bag of non-laughing gas after another, with jokes intended to belittle the viewer’s intelligence and make a mockery of their lifestyle.
This trend isn’t just hurting television viewership. It’s killing the movie industry. No one is going to the theaters to spend money when entertainers aren’t holding up their end of the bargain. Jennifer Lawrence’s new movie “Mother!” made less than $10 million in its opening at the box office. To give you some perspective, she was paid $20 million for “Passengers,” which co-starred Chris Pratt. That’s not unusual this year, as the box office returns are down 12% this summer versus last summer, despite strong showings from “Dunkirk” and “Wonder Woman,” both of which were set in World War II and didn’t preach a political agenda.
AMC Theaters, the largest theater chain, reported $176.5 million in losses for their second quarter and saw a 25% drop in its stock. The top 4 cinema chains in America reported $1.3 billion in market loss since the beginning of August.
The only fix is for Hollywood to start listening to those for whom they are working. It’s not a matter of saying you can’t have your opinion, it does require a level of simple, respectful discourse that is not happening. Otherwise, no one is going to pay you, no matter the number of awards.