Monday night was a massive downer for television’s biggest night. After a record-breaking night of victories, the Emmys fell to a new low in viewership, with attendance down 25% from the previous year. This decline is especially disheartening given that the awards event appeared to be on the upswing in 2021 after having plummeted in 2020. Compared to the 7.9 million people who tuned in for the 73rd Emmys in 2021, the 74th Emmys only managed to pull in 5.9 million. The performance was also shown live on Peacock, but those statistics are still in the works. These ratings were also much lower than those of the 2020s 6.4 million viewers. Being broadcast on NBC this season meant the show had to be shifted from its regular Sunday time slot to accommodate the increasingly popular Sunday Night Football.
The Monday Night Football matchup between the Seahawks and the Broncos broadcasted simultaneously on ABC, ESPN, ESPN2, and ESPN Deportes drew 19.8 million people. Its ABC airing drew in 10.3 million people, nearly double the Emmys’ total. With a 1.09 rating in the 18-49 range, a 42% drop from last year’s 1.9 ratings, the Emmys felt the pain in the key demographics. The 2020 show’s 1.3 rating remains the lowest ever. The 2020 Olympics were held during the height of the COVID-19 epidemic, therefore their low turnout may be partially excused. Historic lows were also reached in 2019, the last really regular year, with a 1.7 rating and 6.9 million viewers. The 74th Emmy Awards, hosted by SNL alum and comedian Kenan Thompson and produced by Done+Dusted with Hudlin Entertainment, were a massive success behind the scenes despite low viewership.
Squid Game created waves with 6 victories, including Lee Jung-historic Jae’s Lead Actor in a Drama triumph; Ted Lasso won the award for best comedy series, The White Lotus won the award for best-limited series, and Succession won the award for best drama series. As Zendaya made history by being the first Black woman to win lead actress accolades twice for the same film (Euphoria), Abbott Elementary also had a successful night, with winners including Quinta Brunson and Sheryl Lee Ralph. With her victory for Best Competition for Watch Out for the Big Grrrls, Grammy winner Lizzo moved closer to the elusive EGOT designation.