Tony Awards Viewership Less Than Half of 2019’s All-Time Low

2020 Tonys were scrapped due to COVID — 2021’s show was a sort of hybrid special

Tony Awards 2021

Sunday’s Tony Awards settled for 2.6 million total viewers on CBS. That is less than half of the 5.4 million viewers the show got in 2019 — an all-time low at the time.

Its 0.4 rating among adults 18-49 was precisely half of the two-years-ago show’s Nielsen number. All told, CBS settled for third place on broadcast last night.

So we’ve clearly got a new all-time low, though it comes with a bit of an asterisk. The Tonys, which were canceled in 2020 due to COVID-19, were a hybrid special of sorts last night. The 2021 special was technically called “The Tony Awards Present: Broadway’s Back,” though trophies were handed out.

Find all the 2021 Tony winners here.

Last night’s celebration of musical theater aired from 9 p.m. to 11 p.m. Beforehand, “Big Brother” drew a 0.9 rating among adults 18-49 and 4.1 million total viewers.

At 7 p.m., “60 Minutes” had a 0.8 rating and 7.1 million total viewers, though those numbers were impacted by NFL football and will be adjusted as needed tomorrow. The Tonys numbers will not change, however, as they’ve already been (slightly) adjusted for time zone differences.

Due to the nature of live sports, the below fast-national Nielsen ratings for Fox and NBC — especially NBC — should be considered subject to significant adjustment.

NBC was first in ratings with a 3.7 rating in the advertiser-coveted 18-49 demographic and in total viewers with an average of 13.3 million, according to preliminary numbers. Those big, big numbers are the averages of NBC Sports’ pregame show and its “Sunday Night Football” game, in which Aaron Rodgers led his Green Bay Packers to a dramatic game-winning drive over the San Francisco 49ers in the final moments of regulation.

Fox was second in ratings with a 1.6 and in viewers with 5.4 million. After an NFL overrun from its late-afternoon (ET) game and postgame series “The OT,” an episode of “The Simpsons” at 8 p.m. scored a football-boosted 1.1 rating and 3.3 million total viewers. At 8:30, “The Great North” got a 0.7 rating and 1.8 million total viewers, again riding the pigskin wave. At 9, “Bob’s Burgers” had a 0.6 rating and 1.6 million total viewers. “Family Guy” at 9:30 closed out Fox’s primetime with a 0.6 rating and 1.5 million total viewers.

ABC was fourth in ratings with a 0.3 and in viewers with 2.7 million. At 7, a special “Global Citizen Live” had a 0.2 rating and 1.6 million total viewers. At 8, the “Celebrity Wheel of Fortune” series premiere got a 0.4 rating and 3.8 million total viewers. The “Supermarket Sweep” new season premiere at 9 received a 0.4 rating and 2.5 million total viewers. At 10, “The Rookie” season premiere managed a 0.3 rating and 2.8 million total viewers.

The CW was fifth in ratings with a 0.1 and in viewers with 399,000. Between reruns, an original “Wellington Paranormal” episode at 9 settled for a 0.0 rating and 208,000 total viewers.

We do not have early Nielsen numbers for Spanish-language networks Univision and Telemundo.

Register NOW for TheGrill ~ the must-attend event for all media professionals ~ starting this Wednesday, Sept. 29-30.