An Emmy Awards show that saw HBO’s Game of Thrones and Amazon Prime’s Fleabag walk away as big winners was a big loser in the ratings, attracting a mere 6.9 million viewers. This year’s Fox broadcast lost almost 33 Percent of the 10.21 million viewers that tuned in to NBC’s Emmy broadcast last year, which marked, in itself, a historic low. This is the first time ever that an Emmy Awards show has dropped below the 10 million viewer mark.
The drop off experienced by television’s biggest night was not shared by any of the other major awards shows, which either experienced an uptick in viewers, as was the case with the Academy Awards, or remained steady, as happened with both the Golden Globes and the Grammys. Fox’s previous stint as broadcaster for The Emmys also saw what were record low ratings at 11.87 million viewers back in 2015.
Among the chief criticisms of this year’s Emmy broadcast was that it lacked a host. Fox Entertainment CEO Charlie Collier explained this choice in August, insisting that the decision to go host-less was made to allow for more time to “salute” the many shows that ended this year. Some, however, tie the decision to the controversy surrounding Kevin Hart and the Oscars, in which the prolific comedian stepped down as that show’s host amid an uproar over his past tweets.
Comedian Sarah Silverman, an Emmy nominee for her sketch series I Love You, America, spoke on the host-less event on Sunday’s red carpet, insisting, “They cut us [comedians] off at the knees. There isn’t even a host anymore at these shows. They don’t want comedians to talk.”
When asked if she offered to host, she recoiled, stating, “No. Nobody wants to do it, either. I mean, it’s thankless.”
Ratings aside, the show did not want for viral moments, including a rousing acceptance speech by The Marvelous Ms. Maisel’s Alex Borstein regarding her grandmother, who survived the Holocaust, and an impassioned call to action on trans rights by Patricia Arquette.
“I dedicate this to the strength of a woman.” #MrsMaisel star Alex Borstein (@AlexBorstein) dedicates her #Emmys win for best supporting actress in a comedy to the women in her life – including her grandmother who survived the Holocaust https://t.co/WmT1Fmyol4 pic.twitter.com/GQfUR41UL5
— Hollywood Reporter (@THR) September 23, 2019