The Golden Globes returned to television with just 6.3 million viewers

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

The 2023 Golden Globe Awards, likely the last on NBC, drew a total of 6.3 million viewers on the TV network, according to Nielsen. That’s down 10 percent from the last broadcast Globes, impacted by the Covid pandemic, which took place relatively late in the New Year on February 28, 2021.

Tuesday’s tally is well below the show’s pre-Covid averages and the lowest since – at least – NBC got the Globes back in 1996. (It’s hard to come up with numbers that predate Nielsen’s era of digital records.)

There was no Golden Globes broadcast in 2022, although the Hollywood Foreign Press Association gave awards anyway.

The ’23 Golden Globes, which aired on a Tuesday, had a rating of 1.1 among adults 18 to 49, according to Nielsen data. We don’t have Peacock’s viewership stats yet; Suffice it to say that they will only marginally improve the overall picture. And it’s not a pretty picture — especially when you factor in the declines already in place.

In 2021, the show fell 62 percent from the year before to just 6.987 million viewers on NBC, up from more than 18 million in 2020. (Stars who appeared on Zoom were a ratings killer.) The 66 percent went to one Score of 1.6 in the key back demo, adults 18-49, was even harder. And 2020 was already the lowest Nielsen number for the Globes since 2012. (Although Peacock started in time for the 21st ceremony, the show was not simulcast.)

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

The 2023 Golden Globes took place in their usual venue, the Beverly Hilton’s International Ballroom. Jerrod Carmichael hosted; IndieWire’s Ben Travers said he “leveled up” with the difficult task, for which he was paid $500,000. The Carmichael Show aired on NBC for three seasons.

It’s worth pointing out here that a rating of 1.1 and especially 6.3 million viewers is good for a TV channel’s primetime average these days – it’s just not good enough for a very expensive awards show.

NBC earned $50.3 million in advertising revenue (or less than half what the Oscars raked in) from the Golden Globes in 2021, according to Kantar research; The network earned $47.5 million from commercials in 2020. There’s just one problem: NBC had historically paid the Hollywood Foreign Press Association and DCP (formerly Dick Clark Productions) about $60 million a year to air the ceremony.

The Globes have been put on hiatus following several scandals, including the revelation that there was not a single black member among the members of the entire Hollywood Foreign Press Association in 2021. The organization says it has taken steps to fix the problem.

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