2020 Emmys Settle for Record Low 6.1 Million Viewers

Virtual show hosted by Jimmy Kimmel sinks 29% from 2019

Last Updated: September 21, 2020 @ 12:27 PM

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 29% 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 a 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.