2020 Emmys Settle for Record Low 6.1 Million Viewers

Virtual show hosted by Jimmy Kimmel sinks 12% from 2019

THE 72ND EMMY® AWARDS – Hosted by Jimmy Kimmel, the "72nd Emmy® Awards" will broadcast SUNDAY, SEPT. 20 (8:00 p.m. EDT/6:00 p.m. MDT/5:00 p.m. PDT), on ABC. (ABC/Image Group LA) JIMMY KIMMEL

Sunday’s 72nd Emmy Awards drew 6.1 million total viewers on ABC, a new low for the annual awards show.

The overall audience for these Emmys, hosted by Jimmy Kimmel, declined 12% from last year’s host-less turn on Fox. Among adults 18-49, the decline was 13%.

Sunday’s Emmys were more of a hit on social media than they were on TV. Last night’s broadcast was the most-social entertainment program on Sunday, posting 11.9 million total social interactions. That’s up 108% from the 2019 Emmy Awards. Of course, the increase in social-media adoption and usage can be pointed to for a large portion of that increase.

The special’s 6.1 million total viewers represent ABC’s largest audience for a Sunday from 8 p.m. ET to 11 p.m. ET since the April 5, 2020 episode of “American Idol.”

See how the rest of broadcast television fared in preliminary Nielsen numbers by clicking here. (Note: The initial data there for the networks with NFL football is not yet time-zone adjusted and should be considered subject to significant adjustment.)

Last year, the Emmys eventually adjusted up to 7 million viewers and a 1.7 rating among adults 18-49. The ceremony’s initial declines from the 2018 special were -32% and -33%, respectively.

Find Sunday’s winners here. The short version: “Schitt’s Creek” completely dominated in comedy series, “Succession” slayed in drama series and “Watchmen” won a bunch more limited series awards.

Kimmel emceed the virtual show from the Los Angeles Staples Center. All of the winners and nominees participated from home.


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