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Hefty tune-in for NBC’s Emmy special

September 1, 2010

Averages 13.5 million total viewers, best since 2006

By Toni Fitzgerald
Aug 30, 2010

The Emmy awards didn’t gain many viewers compared to last year, but they gained just enough to become the most-watched in four years.

The Emmys averaged 13.5 million total viewers, according to Nielsen fast nationals released by NBC this afternoon, slightly better than the 13.47 million who watched last year’s show.

The three-hour show also averaged a 4.1 adults 18-49 rating, down 0.1 from last year.

NBC may have lagged in fourth place over recent years among 18-49s, but it certainly knows how to put on a good Emmy show.

First-time host Jimmy Fallon got universally strong reviews for his energetic performance, and, like the show hosted by Conan O’Brien four years ago on NBC, the program actually ended on time. That always keeps audiences happy.

It marked the best total viewers Emmy performance since the 2006 awards averaged 16.18 million; that show also aired on NBC.

In 2007 and 2008, the awards skidded to their worst viewership of all time, but last year’s show on CBS revived thanks in part to a great hosting job by Neil Patrick Harris.

Those Emmy awards had football as a lead-in, which helped boost ratings. Yesterday’s didn’t, which made the numbers a bit more impressive.

Also, last night’s show aired three weeks earlier than the Emmy awards usually do so that NBC could avoid a conflict with its “Sunday Night Football” franchise, which will be airing regular-season games by the time the traditional Emmy date rolls around.

Usually the Emmys air the night before the regular season begins, building anticipation for new shows that are advertised on the awards.

Still, NBC did get in a fair amount of promotion for new shows like “Undercovers” and “The Event,” as well as hyping Betty White’s season-opening guest appearance on “Community.” She was inescapable last night as a presenter, opening number participant, and in ads.

Toni Fitzgerald is a staff writer for Media Life.

© 2010 Media Life Magazine
4 Comments leave one →
  1. September 1, 2010 12:48 pm

    nice posting.

  2. September 29, 2010 9:00 am

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    • October 8, 2010 3:02 am

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