The Golden Globe Awards posted their worst ratings in nearly a decade, according to entertainment news outlets, including Entertainment Weekly, even though the NFL provided a high-viewership lead-in.
Viewership for the event hosted by the Hollywood Foreign Press Association and honoring achievement in both television and movies has been steadily declining for years as Americans tune out of large scale Hollywood awards shows, and this year’s program was no exception.
“18.6 million viewers watched three-hour-plus 2019 awards-fest, according to NBC, which is the smallest audience for the show in three years,” EW reported.
There is a bright spot. Viewers between the ages of 18 and 49 tuned in in slightly greater numbers, up 4% from last year, but that could be the result of an afternoon of NFL wild card playoff games that captured viewer’s attention. Those NFL games garnered a striking 38.5 million viewers, but a shocking 42% of those viewers changed the channel as soon as the Eagles/Bears game concluded (with a very disappointing “double-doink” field goal miss by Chicago Bears kicker Cody Parkey, not that your fair reporter is bitter).
Twenty million viewers quickly followed suit.
NBC attempted to explain away the drop by claiming that the Golden Globes was actually doing better than other awards shows, which is technically true. Viewership for the Grammys, Emmys, Country Music Awards, and the Academy Awards all declined by double digits from 2017 to 2018; viewership for the Golden Globes, arguably already the least watched of the big name awards shows, only declined by single digits.
Part of the problem may be the changing attitudes in Hollywood towards the traditional “roast”-style awards show introductions, followed by an endless parade of trophy handouts, mostly to actors and actresses the audience doesn’t like, and to movies or shows that weren’t commercial successes.
In the case of this year’s Golden Globes, the response to hosts Sandra Oh and Andy Samberg was a universal, “meh”; the pair tried their best to avoid any stringent criticism of audience members, even declaring the show a “moment of change” for Hollywood, though what was “changing” was left unspecified.
The #MeToo movement has all but disappeared from the red carpet, the typical political proclamations were vague — and in the case of Christian Bale, mostly alcohol-tinged — and although the Globes featured a record number of nominations for minority-led productions, most, if not all, of those pictured walked away from the show empty-handed.