Sunday night’s Tony Awards saw its lowest ratings in history.Though the show had “How I Met Your Mother” show stealer Neil Patrick Harris hosting for the third year in a row, and an opening from the award-winning, “Book of Mormon” crew, the numbers slowly declined as the night went on.
Was Harris’ third year on stage too much for fans to stomach or was the decline as a result of something more?
A few factors led to the Tony’s ratings slump.
Let’s take a look at the numbers and some of the competition:
(CBS) “66th Annual Tony Awards”: 6.6 million
(NBC) “Dateline”: 6.45 million
(ABC) “Secret Millionaire”: 5.35 million
(FOX) “The Simpsons”: 3 million / “Bob’s Burgers” rerun: 2.7 million
(CBS) “66th Annual Tony Awards”: 6 million
(NBC): “America’s Got Talent” rerun: 5 million
(ABC): “Extreme Makeover: Weight Loss Edition”: 4.4 million
(FOX): “Family Guy” rerun: 3.55 million / “American Dad” rerun: 3 million
10 p.m. :
(CBS): “66th Annual Tony Awards” 5.5 million
(NBC): “America’s Got Talent” rerun: 5.4 million
(ABC): “Extreme Makeover: Weight Loss Edition”: 4.8 million
What was on before the Tony Awards?
The problem wasn’t with CBS’ programming beforehand. The Tony’s had a strong lead in from “60 Minutes” with 7.88 million viewers.
CBS could not have picked a worse weekend to air the Tony awards. With the much-anticipated season premiere of “True Blood” (a total of 6.3 million) and a record-breaking season finale for “Mad Men” (2.7 million), eyeballs were drawn elsewhere during the second and third hours.
This is reflected in a significant drop in ratings during the nine and 10 o’clock hours.
Overall Lack of Interest
It’s no secret the Tony Awards aren’t a huge audience draw. Outside the East coast, not many demographics care about Broadway. It’s not being harsh, it’s being honest. Mostly reruns aired on all of the other big networks save ABC (“The Simpsons” and Family Guy” on Fox and “America’s Got Talent” on NBC), and they performed better than the Tonys.
A look at the past three years of Tony Awards ratings show a gradual slip in numbers.
2011: 6.9 million
2010: 7 million
2009: 7.4 million
In addition, this year the ceremony lost 17% of the valuable 18-49 demographic (no doubt to those reruns, “True Blood” and “Mad Men”).
When even the Country Music Awards secure higher ratings (nearly 13 million this year), it may be a sign June is not the best time for the award show to air.
ALSO SEE: Inside Last Night’s Tony Awards >
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