Can comedian stop the ratings bleeding at Sunday’s awards show?
Cedric the Entertainer is hosting Sunday’s Emmys on CBS — can the star of the network’s hit comedy “The Neighborhood” slow down awards-shows ratings declines?
Well, “The Neighborhood” is working out pretty well — especially among Black viewers. For the 2020-21 season, Season 3 of “The Neighborhood,” which co-stars Max Greenfield, was the No. 1 comedy on TV among African Americans, averaging 1.29 million viewers per episode from that demo alone.
The No. 2 comedy on TV among African Americans is fellow CBS sitcom “Bob Hearts Abishola,” which averages 1.26 million Black viewers per episode. While those two CBS comedies are separated by just 30,000 Black viewers, the drop-off to third place, ABC’s long-running “black-ish,” is pretty steep.
The Anthony Anderson-Tracee Ellis Ross comedy ranks third among Black viewers, drawing 924,000 per episode. That tally, like all of the numbers for scripted shows in this story, come from Nielsen’s Live + 7 Day metric. That means it counts “live” tune-in as well as one week of (mostly) DVR viewing.
ABC’s “Black-ish,” whose eighth and final season premieres midseason, was the No. 1 show among Black viewers until being overtaken by “The Neighborhood.”
With 6.76 million total viewers per episode, “The Neighborhood” is TV’s No. 3 comedy overall, trailing only sister CBS sitcoms “Young Sheldon” (9.45 million) and “Mom” (7.05 million).
(CBS claims the Top 7 comedies on all of television in terms of overall viewers.)
“The Neighborhood” adds an average of 1.2 million overall audience members with those seven days of delayed viewing. The average +7 Day growth for comedies this season is 1.0 million.
Among adults 18-49, which is the demographic most coveted by advertisers, “The Neighborhood” ranks second on TV with a 1.0 rating, behind “Young Sheldon’s” 1.2 (and ahead of a slew of 0.9s from “Mom,” “Young Rock,” “The Conners,” “Call Me Kat” and “Family Guy”).
We’ll find out on Monday how well Cedric’s Emmys perform. Don’t let “The Neighborhood’s” momentum fool you into thinking the 2021 Emmy Awards will buck recent ratings trends among awards shows.
Last year’s Primetime Emmy Awards on ABC drew 6.373 million total viewers, per Nielsen’s Live + Same Day measurement down just 8% from 2019’s 6.949 million, when the special aired on Fox. That’s pretty darn good considering how much other major awards shows have declined recently.
We went with Live + Same Day data for the Emmys numbers because live telecasts — like awards shows, news and sports programming — do not draw substantial numbers in delayed viewing. Scripted programming gets a far more substantial percentage of its programming via catch-up viewing.
The Emmys are not immune to large declines. The big year-to-year drop from the Television Academy’s primo show came from that Fox year, when the Emmys sank 32% from NBC’s turn in 2018, which drew 10.224 million total viewers. (It’s worth pointing out here that the Emmys, which air in September, have traditionally been much lower-rated than other majors awards shows like the Golden Globes, Grammys and Oscars.)
The last time CBS had the Emmys, in 2017, the best-of-TV celebration drew 11.394 million overall viewers. Look for Sunday’s show to halve that. Hell, it may not even top the Season 4 premiere of “The Neighborhood” — especially when one week of delayed viewing is factored in.
For anyone wondering, 2020’s Emmys, hosted by Jimmy Kimmel, actually grew 18% among Black viewers. Entertain, Cedric, Entertain.
The 2021 Emmys air Sunday at 8 p.m. ET/5 p.m. PT on CBS.“The Neighborhood” Season 4 premieres Monday at 8 p.m. on CBS.
TV Editor • email@example.com • Twitter: @tonymaglio