Here’s a fun little irony: Even as the Emmy awards celebrated the tidal wave of talent pouring out of the television industry these days, early numbers indicate that fewer people watched the actual ceremony than ever before.
According to The Hollywood Reporter, Nielsen Media reported an 8.4 overnight rating, compared with last year’s 8.7. That translates to 11.9 million viewers for the 2015 Emmys, and roughly 11 million viewers for this year’s awards. But critics were excited about this year’s slate of nominees, which included a lot of underdogs — like Louie Anderson, who won a supporting actor award for his role on FX’s Baskets — and critically lauded if under-watched series like The Americans (which, sadly, lost the best drama award to Game of Thrones).
Of course, critical acclaim can never guarantee the success of a show, and it looks like the critically acclaimed series nominated for this year’s Emmys failed to excite viewers of the telecast. It didn’t help that the ceremony was up against Sunday Night Football; the Emmys also lost viewers to CBS’s new miniseries, The Case Of: JonBenet Ramsey, which premiered last night. But the TV industry shouldn’t take the ratings too personally; this year’s Oscar ceremony, while pulling in much higher numbers than the Emmys, was also its lowest-rated broadcast.