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August 30, 2010 by · Leave a Comment 

NBC’s decision to broadcast the Primetime Emmy Awards live across the country and to do so in August, a month when TV viewing is generally at its lowest ebb, appeared to hit the telecast’s ratings hard. The awards show attracted 11.63 million viewers, making it the lowest-rated Emmys show on record. The figure was significantly lower than the 13.47 million who tuned in last year, when it was carried by CBS, and the 12.34 million who did so in 2008, when it was carried by ABC. Viewers on the West Coast got a double dose of the telecast as the network aired it live beginning at 5:00 p.m. and on tape beginning at 8:00 p.m. Although NBC had said that both telecasts would be included in the ratings, it was not clear whether figures for both West Coast telecasts were included in the overnight figures or whether only ratings for the 7:00 p.m. to 8:00 p.m. (a primetime period on Sundays) were included. The highest-rated Emmy telecast was broadcast in 1986, when 35.80 million viewers tuned in.
According to Tuesday’s Daily Variety, Nielsen combined unduplicated viewership for the two West Coast airings, which lifted the national total to 13.50 million viewers, putting it slightly ahead of last year’s 13.47 million.