Oscars, Grammys Ratings on the Post-Pandemic Rebound – Emmys and Globes Not So Much | Charts

Are awards shows bouncing back from the pandemic viewership lows? TheWrap crunched the numbers

awards shows ratings
Mixed ratings results for the entertainment industry's biggest awards shows. (Getty, Christopher Smith/TheWrap)

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As the 2023 awards season comes to a close following Sunday’s Oscars, viewership for this year’s Academy Awards and Grammys inched even closer to pre-pandemic numbers than last year, while the Emmys and Golden Globes faltered to improve upon last year’s growth.

While ABC’s 95th Academy Awards saw a 13% uptick in total viewership with 18.8 million viewers as compared to 2022’s total viewership of 16.7 million, the 2023 Grammys saw the biggest jump in viewership for CBS with a whopping 30.2% increase from 2022’s viewership of 9.6 million to this year’s 12.5 million viewers.

Music’s biggest night overtook Hollywood’s biggest night for the title of most improved viewership, marking a switch up from last year as the 2022 Academy Awards jumped 60.1% from 2021’s 10.4 million viewers while the Grammys saw a slight 2.1% increase from the 2021 ceremony, which drew in 9.4 million viewers.

Despite the continued rebound for the Academy Awards and the Grammys, the Emmys solidified its spot on the other side of the spectrum when the 2022 Emmys hit an all-time low of 5.9 million viewers for NBC. While the 2021 ceremony, which brought in 7.8 million viewers, saw a 21.9% increase from the 2020 show, which garnered 6.4 million viewers, the 2022 Emmys saw a 24.4% decrease from last year.

The 2023 Golden Globes, which brought in 6.3 million total viewers, couldn’t be compared to the 2022 ceremony that went without a telecast after NBC canceled its plans to broadcast the following the Los Angeles Times investigation exposing systemic problems at the Hollywood Foreign Press Association, the defamed organization behind the awards. The ceremony saw a 8.7% decrease from 2021, when the show drew in 6.9 million viewers.

Total awards show viewership 2019-2023 (Nielsen)

Although the Oscars’ 13% uptick in viewership paled in comparison to last year’s 60% bump in total viewers, Sunday’s telecast continued to rebound closer to pre-pandemic numbers, as the 2019 ceremony brought in 29.6 million total viewers and the 2020 show drew in 23.6 million viewers.

While the Academy Awards still have a long way to go to reach the viewership achieved in 2019 and 2020, there was certainly an improvement from the 2021 awards ceremony, which saw a record low with 10.4 million viewers. At the time, the 2021 ceremony saw a 55.9% decrease from 2020 viewership, making the impact of the pandemic crystal clear.

The same can be said on the Grammys front, as this year’s 30.2% bump in viewership signals steady progress that could eventually reach the 2019 and 2020 ceremonies, which reached 19.9 million viewers and 18.8 million viewers, respectively. At the turn of the pandemic, the 2021 awards show also suffered the same fate as the Oscars with a 50% decrease in viewership from the prior year.

Awards show viewership for past three years. (Nielsen)

The Emmys, on the other hand, rebounded less than the Oscars and the Grammys, with the 2022 show seeing a 7.8% decrease when compared to the 2020 ceremony, which drew in 6.4 million viewers as the first Emmys to take place during the COVID-19 pandemic. While all eyes are on the 2023 Emmys to grow their viewership, the awards faces a lesser scale for growth as the 2020 ceremony only saw a 7.3% decrease from the 2019 show, which brought in 6.9 million viewers.