The decade's most triggering comedy
This year’s Golden Globe Awards were back after a diversity-related controversy last year, but it only managed to attract 6.3 million television viewers, representing the lowest numbers in several years and a 26% decrease from 2021.
This year’s broadcast narrowly avoided the worst-ever viewership, which occurred in 2008 during the Hollywood writers’ strike.
Per Nielsen data, the program averaged between 17 million and 20 million viewers during its heyday between 2010 and 2020. Those numbers even came close to Academy Award viewing in 2019, making it a contender to become the most-watched awards show, and in 2020 the Globes boasted 18.3 million viewers.
But then two events eviscerated the broadcast, and so far, it hasn’t recovered.
The COVID pandemic affected those growing numbers. The 2021 Globes hosted by Tina Fey and Amy Poehler drew a mere 6.9 million viewers and a 1.5 rating among adults 18-49. The bicoastal, virtual event failed to draw viewers like it had in the past.
Then in 2022, NBC decided not to air the program following accusations of a lack of diversity and inclusion in the Hollywood Foreign Press Association. The HFPA hosted last year’s Globes as a private ceremony at the Beverly Hilton and didn’t have any nominees in attendance. It also vowed to make changes to the organization.
This year marked a return to normalcy with the show live and in person, plus aired on NBC again. The HFPA instituted new diversity standards and selected black comedian Jerrod Carmichael as the host. He opened his monologue by addressing why he was hired.
“I’ll tell you why I’m here. I’m here because I’m black,” Carmichael joked before referencing the alleged racism of the HFPA in the past.
“This show, the Golden Globe Awards, did not air last year because the Hollywood Foreign Press Association, which I won’t say they were a racist organization, but they didn’t have a single black member until George Floyd died,” he continued. “So do with that information what you will.”
One explanation for the poor viewership is that The Globes used to take place on Sunday nights, so fans could have been unaware the ceremony was airing on a Tuesday evening. Social media was filled with reactions that indicated they had no idea it was on.
Also, award show viewership overall is down industry-wide. In September, the 74th Annual Emmy Awards saw a steep decline in viewership when just 5.9 million people tuned in for “television’s biggest night.” This represented a 25% decrease compared to the previous year.
Even the Academy Awards isn’t attracting the audience it used to. While last year’s show in March represented a 58% increase compared to the previous year, it was still the second-lowest viewership in the awards show history.