Grammys Set Record Low But Still Finish Second for the Week

HOLLYWOOD (CNS) - Viewership for Sunday's 63rd Grammy Awards set a record low, continuing a trend among awards shows, but was still the week's second most-watched prime-time program, according to live-plus-same-day figures released today by Nielsen.

The three-hour, 16-minute ceremony on CBS based at Staples Center, although much it was virtual, averaged 9.227 million viewers. The previous low was 17.01 million viewers in 2006, when the ceremony was broadcast on a Wednesday, opposite an episode of “American Idol' for its opening hour. The Grammys returned to Sunday the following year.

Viewership dropped 50.6% from last year's 18.69 million average, the smallest TV audience for the Grammys since 2008.

Since last February, the Oscars, Emmys and Golden Globe Awards have also set record lows. Viewership for most forms of programming has decreased in recent years, in part because of competition from streaming programs, including streams of the same programs shown on traditional television.

The Grammys averaged a record 51.67 million viewers in 1984, when Michael Jackson, at the height of his popularity, won a record eight Grammys. Figures are available dating back to 1977.

CBS had each of the four most-watched prime-time programs between March 8 and Sunday, topped by “NCIS'', which averaged 9.779 million viewers, its third first-place finish in seven weeks. A broadcast of “60 Minutes'' with all repeat segments was the only other program to average more than 8 million viewers, averaging 8.139 million to finish third for the week.

“FBI,'' which followed “NCIS,'' was fourth, averaging 7.663 million viewers.

CBS also had the most-watched comedy, “Young Sheldon,'' ninth for the week averaging 6.492 million viewers, and the most-watched program beginning at 10 p.m., “FBI: Most Wanted,'' 12th for the week averaging 6.146 million viewers, its second-largest audience of the season.

NBC had each of the four most-watched non-CBS programs, topped by “Chicago Fire,'' which was seventh for the week, averaging 7.041 million viewers.

CBS finished first in the network race for the eighth consecutive week and 10th time in the 25-week-old 2020-21 television season, averaging 4.87 million viewers.

NBC averaged 3.96 million viewers to finish second, its highest finish since the week of Jan. 11-18 when it was also second. NBC had finished third for six consecutive weeks and was fourth the week before the streak began.

ABC averaged 3.43 million viewers to finish third after seven consecutive second-place finishes. Fox was fourth for the seventh consecutive week, averaging 2.62 million viewers for its 15 hours, 36 minutes of programming. The CW again was fifth among the five major English-language broadcast networks, averaging 730,000 viewers for its 12 hours.

CBS, NBC and ABC each aired 22 hours of prime-time programming for the week.

The procedural drama “9-1-1'' was Fox's most-watched program for the eighth consecutive week, averaging 6.281 million viewers, 11th for the week.

ABC's most-watched entertainment program was “American Idol,'' 17th for the week averaging 5.502 million viewers. Its most-watched program was President Joe Biden's address to the nation last Thursday on the first anniversary of the declaration of the coronavirus pandemic. It was 10th for the week, averaging 6.343 million viewers.

The CW's most-watched program was the crime drama “Walker,'' which averaged 1.334 million viewers, putting it 102nd among broadcast programs. Its overall rank was not available.

The only premiere on the five major broadcast networks, the Fox game show “Game of Talents'' was fourth in its Wednesday 9-10 p.m. time slot and 46th overall, averaging 3.097 million viewers. “Game of Talents'' was also Fox's fifth most-watched program of the week.

The week's most-watched cable program was the Thursday edition of “Tucker Carlson Tonight'' that also included Biden's nearly half-hour speech and averaged 4.246 million viewers, 27th for the week.

Fox News Channel was the most-watched cable channel in prime-time for the seventh consecutive week, averaging 2.445 million viewers. MSNBC was second for the seventh consecutive week, averaging 1.843 million.

CNN was third for the sixth time in seven weeks, averaging 1.287 million viewers.

For the third consecutive week and ninth time in 13 weeks, an episode of the Univision telenovela “Vencer el desamor'' was the most-watched Spanish-language program, with the Wednesday episode averaging 1.853 million viewers, 61st among broadcast programs. Its overall rank was not available.

Univision was the most-watched Spanish-language network for the 67th consecutive week and 69th time in 70 weeks, averaging 1.38 million viewers. Telemundo was second, averaging 1.04 million viewers followed by UniMas (550,000), Estrella TV (130,000) and Azteca America (50,000).

ABC's “World News Tonight with David Muir'' was the most-watched network nightly newscast for the 67th consecutive week, the 118th time in 119 weeks and the 170th time in 172 weeks, averaging 8.863 million viewers.

“NBC Nightly News with Lester Holt'' was second, averaging 7.291 million viewers, followed by the “CBS Evening News with Norah O'Donnell,'' which averaged 5.337 million viewers.

The week's 10 most-watched prime-time programs were CBS' “NCIS,'' the 63rd Grammy Awards, “60 Minutes Presents'' and “FBI''; NBC's “Chicago Med,'' the two-hour Monday edition of “The Voice,'' “Chicago Med,'' and the hourlong Tuesday edition of “The Voice''; CBS' “Young Sheldon'' and ABC's coverage of Biden's coronavirus speech.

Photo: Getty Images

Copyright 2021, City News Service, Inc.

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