ABC’s “AMAs” set a new record low in TV ratings on Tuesday, despite Taylor Swift opening the show with a performance and closing it by clutching the evening’s top award.
The “American Music Awards” settled for a 1.8 rating this year among adults 18-49, which is the demographic most attractive to advertisers. It had a 2.4 in 2017 when the special aired on a Sunday in November. Last year’s 2.4 tied the previous record-low set by the 2016 version.
Here are the (mostly) comparable 2017 AMAs ratings. That one didn’t do great either, but its Nielsen returns were 25 percent better than last night’s.
With the ABC special’s lackluster performance, NBC was able to tie the Disney-owned broadcast net in terms of primetime ratings averages. CBS won the night among total viewers, and ABC settled for third.
NBC and ABC tied for first in ratings, both with a 1.8. NBC had an 8 share, ABC got a 7. NBC was second in total viewers with an average of 8.3 million, according to preliminary numbers.
ABC was third in total viewers with 6.5 million. The “American Music Awards” were the only show on its primetime schedule, airing from 8-11 p.m.
For NBC, “The Voice” at 8 p.m. earned a 1.8/8 and 9 million viewers. At 9, “This Is Us” scored a 2.3/9 and 8.8 million viewers. “New Amsterdam” at 10 put up a 1.4/6 and 7.1 million viewers.
CBS was third in ratings with a 1.1/5 and first in viewers with 9.7 million. “NCIS” at 8 landed a 1.4/6 and 12.2 million viewers. At 9, “FBI” had a 1.0/4 and 9.1 million viewers. “NCIS: New Orleans” at 10 got a 0.9/4 and 7.9 million viewers.
Fox was fourth in ratings with a 0.7/3 and in viewers with 2.5 million. “The Gifted” at 8 received a 0.7/3 and 2.1 million viewers. “Lethal Weapon” at 9 matched its lead-in’s rating and share and grew Fox’s audience to 3 million viewers.
The CW was fifth in ratings with a 0.6/2 and in viewers with 1.6 million. The season premiere of “The Flash” at 8 had a 0.8/3 and 2.1 million viewers. The “Black Lightning” Season 2 premiere at 9 got a 0.4/2 and 1.2 million viewers.
Tuesday marked the start of The CW’s fall season.
Univision and Telemundo tied for sixth in ratings, both with a 0.4/2. Univision was sixth in total viewers with 1.4 million, Telemundo was seventh with 1.2 million.
You’d think the entertainment industry would have figured it out by now. Americans do not like their jesters having political opinions. We pay you to entertain us, to dance, to sing, to joke, to play a sport.
We do not pay you to tell the peasants how to live from your ivory towers, and the ratings are showing.
Earlier this year, Jimmy Kimmel’s return as Oscars host received an 18.9 rating in Nielsen’s numbers from 8-11 p.m. ET, down 15.6 percent from his 2017 debut. Of course, the ABC special ran about 50 minutes after primetime’s cutoff, so these numbers are subject to some adjustment.
Last year’s Oscars landed a 22.4 rating in Nielsen’s overnight numbers, which count 56 metered markets. That was down 4.3 percent from 2016’s very preliminary numbers, when Chris Rock hosted.
Rock’s turn had already dipped 8 percent from its own predecessor.
The 2017 Oscars eventually tabulated 32.9 million total viewers, which was down 4 percent from the Rock-hosted ceremony. Last night’s overall audience tally should be in by noon PT today.
The Oscars is the preeminent awards telecast that is historically the most-watched entertainment program of the year is no longer an automatic default choice for viewers. The Grammy Awards and the Super Bowl both experienced ratings declines this year. Both have also seen a dramatic uprise in leftist activism, racism, protests over fiction, inaction against actual issues, and general hypocrisy in the entertainment industry has turned once ardent fans away.
The Oscars’ television audience also has been dropping in recent years as voting members of the Academy of Motion Pictures Arts and Sciences have tended to celebrate smaller movies. The 2018 winner for best picture, “The Shape of Water,” has earned $57.4 million at the box office in the U.S. and Canada, making it the highest-grossing honoree in the category since “Argo” in 2013.
Viewers may have also become weary of this year’s awards-show speechifying about the #MeToo and Time’s Up movements exposing and combating sexual harassment in the entertainment industry. In a particularly insider-y moment, lead actress winner Frances McDormand finished an otherwise emotional tribute to the other female nominees with the term “inclusion rider,” referring to a contractual clause that requires a specific level of diversity in the cast and crew of a project.
James E Windsor, Overpasses News Desk
October 10th, 2018