Ratings tumble for all-virtual Emmys as HBO, 'Schitt's Creek' wins hint at TV's future

Alexandra Canal
·3-min read

Television ratings for Sunday night's 72nd Primetime Emmy Awards dropped to a record low of 6.1 million viewers, according to data released by ABC on Monday (DIS).

That represented the lowest amount of viewers in the show’s history, and off substantially from the roughly 6.9 million people who watched the show last year, ABC added.

The all-virtual ceremony — which included its fair share of pandemic-focused gags from presenters in hazmat suits to a live, on-air COVID-19 test — will pave the way for future award shows like the Oscars which will now take place in April of 2021 as a result of the coronavirus.

Hazmat suits and an Emmy statuette turned into a hand sanitizer dispenser were among some of the show's pandemic-focused gags.
Hazmat suits and an Emmy statuette turned into a hand sanitizer dispenser were among some of the show's pandemic-focused gags.

To note, the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences has not yet released specifics on how they plan to handle this year’s show.

“Schitt’s Creek,” HBO Dominate Primetime Emmy Awards

Pop TV’s “Schitt’s Creek” dominated Sunday night’s Emmys — and the series’ success offers a glimmer of hope when it comes to the future of traditional cable television.

Pop TV, a small network owned by ViacomCBS (VIAC), began airing the show back in 2015, but it was quite a slow burn before it got widespread recognition. Only recently did the show surge in popularity, after some of its past seasons began airing on Netflix (NFLX).

It’s a familiar story that we’ve seen time and time again. Fan-favorite “You” rebounded from a struggling series on Lifetime to one of Netflix’s top shows of 2018. Meanwhile, the CW’s “Riverdale” jumped in ratings for season 2, after placing its first season on the platform.

On Sunday, “Schitt’s Creek” swept the comedy categories — winning seven awards directly in a row (it’s the first show— comedy or drama — to ever sweep all four acting categories.)

"Schitt's Creek" sweeps comedy categories at 72nd Emmy Awards
"Schitt's Creek" sweeps comedy categories at 72nd Emmy Awards

Although the series certainly benefitted from the Netflix boom, it was one of the only nominees, besides NBC’s “The Good Place” (CMCSA), to have its origins rooted in traditional cable TV. That’s an encouraging sign as more consumers cut the cord and opt for streaming.

Meanwhile, some of the top streaming platforms underwhelmed Sunday night as HBO continued its Emmy Awards reign.

Netflix, which had secured the most nominations of any network, walked away with just two primetime wins — bringing its total Emmy count to 21 — while its biggest competitor HBO (T) garnered the most out of any other network.

HBO secured a whopping 11 primetime awards (largely thanks to “Succession” and its comic book maxi-series “Watchman”)— finishing the week off with 30 total wins.

HBO dominates 72nd Primetime Emmy Awards
HBO dominates 72nd Primetime Emmy Awards

Apple TV+ (AAPL) and Hulu each secured one primetime Emmy award thanks to Apple TV’s “The Morning Show” and Hulu’s “Mrs. America.”

But there was no love for Disney+ or Amazon Prime Video (AMZN) on Sunday night as “Succession” topped Disney cult-favorite “The Mandalorian” while “Schitt’s Creek” outshined previous Emmy-winner “The Marvelous Mrs. Maisel.”

Alexandra is a Producer & Entertainment Correspondent at Yahoo Finance. Follow her on Twitter @alliecanal8193

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