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Preliminary Ratings For The Grammy Awards Indicate An Historical Low

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Mirroring the recent Golden Globes on NBC, The 63rd Annual Grammy Awards on CBS, hosted by Trevor Noah and telecast live from the Los Angeles Convention Center with a limited number of performers and nominees, plummeted to what will be record low ratings.

Based on the preliminary numbers from Nielsen (a.k.a. the “fast affiliates,” which are time period based and are always approximate), the three-hour awards-fest on Sunday dipped to just 7.9 million viewers and a 1.9 rating/12 share in coveted adults 18-49 (from 8-11 p.m. ET). While that was more than enough for CBS (which opened with granddaddy newsmagazine 60 Minutes) to dominate the evening, it was also down by a staggering 10.8 million viewers (or 58%) and 65% in adults 18-49 versus the 18.7 million and 5.4 rating in the demo for the year-ago telecast (on January 26, 2020).

The prior low for The Grammy Awards was the 17 million viewers who watched in 2006. Comparably, the 7.9 million last night was less than half of that. The moral of this sad story: the upcoming 93rd Academy Awards on ABC on April 25 is doomed!

For the night, CBS averaged 8.11 million viewers (from 7-11 p.m. ET), followed by ABC (4.61 million), NBC (1.91), Fox (1.24) and lowly The CW (491,000). ABC finished second overall in adults 18-49 behind CBS (1.8 vs. 0.6 rating), followed by Fox (0.5), NBC (0.3) and The CW (0.1).

While certainly not the player it once was on Fox, American Idol on ABC (opposite The Grammys) still scored a respectable 5.38 million viewers and a 0.8 in adults 18-48 from 8-10 p.m. Far less impressive was lead-out Who Wants to Be a Millionaire?, hosted by Jimmy Kimmel, at 2.94 million viewers and a 0.4 in the demo at 10 p.m. Comparably, that was above NBC’s critically-acclaimed, but perennially ratings-challenged Good Girls (Viewers: 1.47 million; A18-49: 0.3).

Also concerning for NBC was Good Girls lead-in Ellen’s Game of Games, hosted by Ellen DeGeneres, which at just 1.68 million viewers and a 0.3/ 2 in the demo has plummeted since moving into the Sunday 9 p.m. hour.

Veteran 60 Minutes on CBS, meanwhile, topped the night in total viewers with 8.78 million (and a dominant 1.2 rating in adults 18-49 at 7 p.m.). Recently introduced Fox game show Cherries Wild (Viewers: 1.6 million; A18-49: 0.4 in the 7 p.m. half-hour) provided minimal lead-in support to Fox’s Sunday “Animation Domination” block of Bless the Harts, The Simpsons, The Great North, Bob’s Burgers and Family Guy. Note to Fox: You may want to change that descriptor. And The CW’s combination of Batwoman and the reboot of Charmed could only muster an average 491,000 viewers.

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