2024 Emmys Had Record Low Viewership and Here’s Why

By: ScreenGawk Staff | Published: Jan 24, 2024

Each year, the Emmys garner millions of viewers from around the world as people tune in to watch their favorite TV celebrities get recognized for outstanding performances.

Yet, this year, the awards ceremony recorded the lowest audience in history after a little over 4 million tuned in to watch the show. Here’s what experts believe caused the drop in viewership.

The Primetime Awards

The Primetime Awards typically take place every September to honor TV directors, producers, and actors from America and beyond.

Sheryll Lee Ralph accepts an Emmy at the Microsoft Theater in 2022

Source: Kevin Winter/Getty Images

This year, the show took place on Monday, January 15, on Fox. It brought in the lowest viewership in the awards ceremony’s history, with only around 4.3 million people tuning in.

Worrying Trend Continues

Monday’s low ratings marked the continuation of a worrying trend for the awards ceremony, which appears to set a new lowest record with each event.

A man stares at a graph which depicts a drop in views on his laptop

Source: Freepik

The previous lowest record came the last time the event was held in 2022, which saw 5.9 million people tune in to watch the awards ceremony on NBC.

Reasons Behind the Lower Viewership

Reports suggest there are numerous reasons behind the Emmys’ low viewership this year.

Three young people share pizza as they watch their favorite TV show

Source: Freepik

Yet, the most obvious is that the awards evening was postponed by nearly four months, due to writers’ strikes

Competing Against the Golden Globes

Another reason behind the lower-than-usual viewership likely has something to do with the Emmys taking place amid awards season, ultimately bringing forth competition for viewers.

Golden Globes are seen during the 79th Annual Golden Globe Awards at The Beverly Hilton

Source: Emma McIntyre/Getty Images

The revered Golden Globes awards ceremony, which had some of the year’s biggest stars in attendance, aired a week before the Emmys.

More Competition for the Emmys

Other factors that may have played a small role include the Critics Choice Award, which took place one night before the Emmys.

A group of friends gather together in a lounge to watch an NFL game

Source: Freepik

An NFL wild-card game also took place on the same evening as the Emmys, which held the attention of over 20 million American viewers.


Golden Globes Comes Out on Top

The Emmys struggled to keep up with the Golden Globes this year, with their audience coming in at half what their competition experienced.

Selena Gomez and Taylor Swift at the 81st Golden Globe Awards held at the Beverly Hilton Hotel in Beverly Hills

Source: Christopher Polk/Getty Images

With over nine million viewers and superstars, such as Taylor Swift, in the crowd, it’s pretty apparent why the Globes overshadowed the Emmys.


50% Increase from the Previous Year

While the Emmys saw a reduction of over 1 million viewers from their show in 2022, the Golden Globes experienced an increase of over 50% from the previous year.

Zendaya accepts the Outstanding Lead Actress in a Drama Series award for ‘Euphoria’ in 2022

Source: Kevin Mazur/WireImage/Getty Images

Meanwhile, the Critics Choice Awards is typically considered a much smaller awards ceremony, bringing in a respectful 1 million viewers last Sunday.


Hollywood Has Praise for the Emmys

Nonetheless, the Emmys received pleasant reviews for a show that spent most of the evening in a state of nostalgia as it honored shows including “Grey’s Anatomy” and “Cheers.”

A reporter dressed in a brown sweatshirt jots down notes into a small book

Source: Freepik

USA Today called the awards ceremony “respectable,” praising a night that wasn’t “[too] cringey.” Whereas The Hollywood Reporter acknowledged  its “polish, proficiency and emotion.”


On a Downward Spiral

Even with the positive comments from American journalists, it appears as if the Emmys are on a downward spiral so far as viewers are concerned. 

Daniel Palladino, Amy Sherman-Palladino, and the cast and crew accept the Outstanding Comedy Series award for 'The Marvelous Mrs. Maisel'

Source: Jeff Kravitz/FilmMagic/Getty Images

The last time the awards show garnered an audience of over 10 million viewers was six years ago, when it got over 10.2 million viewers in 2018. Compare this to the 2000s’ 21.8 million, and it’s clear the awards ceremony has lost a lot of popularity.


Emmys Drop Dramatically during Pandemic

In 2020, the Emmys experienced a record low of 6.1 million viewers during the COVID-19 pandemic. 

Four people wearing face masks during COVID-19 stand in a queue together

Source: Freepik

Yet, this drop was mainly ascribed to remote nominations and the lack of an in-person crowd, meaning no celebrities were there to entice fans to join in. 


Biggest Winners this Past Year

The biggest winners of the year went to “The Bear” and “Succession,” each taking home six awards from the evening. 

Ali Wong accepts the Lead Actress award at the 75th Primetime Emmys Awards Ceremony

Source: Kevin Winter/Getty Images

The best drama was “Succession”. Meanwhile, “The Bear” was awarded an Emmy for the year’s best comedy.