Emmys have lowest ratings ever

Sunday night’s reality TV-heavy Emmy telecast was the lowest-rated in history among people ages 18 to 49, and perhaps also the lowest ever among all viewers. ABC’s broadcast of the awards faced off against Sunday Night Football, which was the highest-rated show of the night, and drew only 12.2 million viewers.

That’s “the least-watched ceremony ever… coming just under Fox’s historic-low 1990 ceremony (12.3 million) and less than 2007’s event (13 million),” according to The Hollywood Reporter. Last year, when Ryan Seacrest hosted by himself, the show had its lowest 18 to 49 ratings yet, but those demo ratings another dropped 12 percent this year.

The telecast itself was pretty much universally reviled, as was the five reality show hosts’ opening bit, which was even mocked during the actual telecast itself, like when Jimmy Kimmel called the five hosts merely “sufficient” to their faces. That bit was the result of the five not being able to agree on an opening, as Jeff Probst revealed backstage.

As James Hibberd suggests, “it seemed as if the hosts were choosing to embrace and validate the very put-downs their genre has had to endure, the sort of slights that this year’s Emmy Awards were supposed to help rectify: that reality TV is empty and silly, the product of noncreative effort.”

On his radio show Monday, Ryan Seacrest talked to Emmy-winner Jeff Probst, and said that he felt less anxious about doing the Emmys “once, finally, that I realized we had nothing and that nothing was being honest and that was being real, and Jeff, you walked me down that path to make me feel better about it, I’ll be honest.”

Probst said that Jimmy Kimmel–who some think should have hosted–“tried everything to save us” and e.mailed jokes and other advice to the five hosts.

Also on the show, Ryan congratulated Jeff (“you couldn’t give it to a better guy,” Seacrest said), while Probst admitted, “I’m not going to be falsely humble; it feels great.” And both Ryan and Jeff revealed that they’re now closer friends as a result of hosting, and that the two of them hung out with Howie Mandel more than the other two. Seacrest said, “I’m proud to call you my friend … Why don’t you go get some action? You have an Emmy.”

Grim reality for Emmy ratings and Shrapnel flies over bombed Emmy bit [Hollywood Reporter]

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about the writer

Andy Dehnart is a journalist who has covered reality television for more than 15 years and created reality blurred in 2000. A member of the Television Critics Association, his writing and criticism about television, culture, and media has appeared on NPR and in Playboy, Buzzfeed, and many other publications. Andy, 36, also directs the journalism program at Stetson University in Florida, where he teaches creative nonfiction and journalism. He has an M.F.A. in nonfiction writing and literature from Bennington College. More about reality blurred and Andy.