Speed Reads

2020 Emmys

Emmys again draws its smallest audience ever

If you thought the highly unusual nature of this year's Emmys might result in a bit of a ratings boost, think again.

Sunday's 72nd Primetime Emmy Awards drew a television audience of just 6.1 million viewers, per The Wrap. This is once again the smallest audience in the history of the Emmys, down from last year's 6.9 million viewers, which at the time was a record low.

The Emmys this year took place mostly virtually amid the COVID-19 pandemic, with host Jimmy Kimmel and a handful of stars physically at the Staples Center in Los Angeles, but nearly everyone else joining the show from various locations via live video feeds. Leading up to the show, ABC's marketing emphasized how little anyone knew what to expect from an Emmys produced amid the pandemic, likely in an attempt to draw in viewers curious about how it might go; in 2019, when the Academy Awards was forced to go without a host, its viewership actually increased.

In general, though, awards show ratings have been in decline across the board in recent years. And although one might think the Emmys would get a bump in 2020 with more people at home amid the pandemic, Deadline notes that this year's ceremony had to go up against the NBA playoffs for the first time, in addition to Sunday Night Football.

Kimmel had openly predicted that the show would draw its smallest audience in history.

"This will probably be the lowest-rated Emmys of all time," he told Deadline last week. "I would bet almost anything on it. Of course it will. ... I mean, television is the lowest rated it has been. You look at some of the ratings you see in prime time now, I mean, people would be jumping out of buildings if you got ratings like this 10 years ago."