The Golden Globes returned to TV with just 6.3 million viewers

The Jerrod Carmichael-hosted Golden Globes on NBC had the show’s smallest audience since 1996 (at least).

The 2023 Golden Globes, likely the last on NBC, drew a total of 6.3 million viewers on the broadcast television network, according to Nielsen. That’s a 10 percent drop from the last Globe, which was hit by the Covid-19 pandemic and released relatively late in the new year on February 28, 2021.

Tuesday’s result was well below the show’s pre-Covid average and the lowest since — at least — NBC won the Globes in 1996. (It’s hard to find numbers that predate the Nielsen digital records era.)

No Golden Globes will be broadcast in 2022, although the Hollywood Foreign Press Association will give out awards anyway.

The 23rd Golden Globe Awards, which aired Tuesday, drew a 1.1 rating among adults 18-49, according to Nielsen. Peacock has no viewership statistics yet; suffice it to say they just add a little boost to the overall picture. And it’s not a pretty picture — especially when you consider the declines already in place.

In 2021, the show dropped 62 percent from the previous year to just 6.987 million viewers on NBC, down from more than 18 million in 2020. (Stars appearing on Zoom was a ratings killer.) The 66 percent drop to a 1.6 in the demo, adults 18-49 was even more severe. And in 2020, the Globes had the lowest Nielsen numbers since 2012. (Although the Peacock started in time for the 21st ceremony, it did not simulcast the show.)

The Globes almost always aired on Sunday, usually in early to mid-January on NBC. This year was an exception and was chosen to avoid prime-time football this year (since the 2021 Globes, the NFL has expanded from a 17-week to an 18-week season). Both NBC and HFPA probably flew a little under the radar.

The 2023 Golden Globe Awards took place at their usual venue, the Beverly Hilton International Ballroom. Hosted by Jerrod Carmichael; IndieWire’s Ben Travers said he was “soaring” with the difficult task, for which he was paid $500,000. “The Carmichael Show” aired for three seasons on NBC.

We should point out here that a 1.1 rating, and especially 6.3 million viewers, is good for a prime-time average for a broadcast network these days — just not good enough for a very expensive awards show.

According to Kantar research, NBC earned $50.3 million in advertising revenue from the Golden Globes in 2021 (or less than the Oscars); the network earned $47.5 million from advertising in 2020. There’s just one problem: NBC has historically paid the Hollywood Foreign Press Association and DCP (fka dick clark productions) roughly $60 million a year to broadcast the ceremony.

The Globes have been timed out due to several scandals, including not having a single black member among the full membership of the Hollywood Foreign Press Association in 2021. The organization says it has taken steps to remedy the problem.

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