Golden Globes’ ratings slide, again

Nielsen’s early numbers suggest far fewer Americans tuned in last night than in previous years.

Golden Globes’ ratings slide, again

On a night when NBC banked on millions of U.S. viewers tuning in to watch the 78th annual Golden Globe Awards, many appear to have instead tuned it out, according to early ratings numbers from Nielsen.

During last night’s virtual event—the Golden Globes’ first-ever run guided by pandemic protocols—just 5.4 million Americans between the ages of 18-49 watched, giving the broadcast a dismal 1.2 rating, Nielsen’s non-time zone adjusted data suggests. 

Those lower-than-average figures aren’t final and are all but guaranteed to receive a modest boost once viewers in Pacific Standard Time are accounted for, but they nonetheless paint a dire picture for the Hollywood Foreign Press Association’s award show, which has now seen its ratings dip for a second consecutive year.

Last year, the event’s preliminary numbers were significantly higher, with the broadcast averaging 14.8 million early-look viewers and getting a 3.8 demo rating, Variety reports.

Nielsen’s live-plus-same-day data eventually revealed the 2020 Golden Globes averaged 18.3 million total viewers—down by 2% compared to the 18.6 million who tuned in to the 2019 broadcast.

That downward trend was also apparent in the most coveted TV demographic, with last year’s Ricky Gervais-hosted event netting 6.1 million adults 18-49, versus the previous year’s 6.76 million adults in the same age range. Prior to 2019, the Golden Globes’ ratings had been steadily climbing.

Yesterday’s socially distanced, bicoastal ceremony hosted by comic collaborators Amy Poehler and Tina Fey—Poehler live from the usual Beverly Hilton Hotel in California; Fey beaming in from 30 Rockefeller in New York—featured a mix of in-person presenters and virtual honorees, marking the Globes’ first pandemic-era telecast.

Netflix was one of the night’s biggest winners, with its originals including “The Crown,” “The Queen’s Gambit” and “The Trial of the Chicago 7” all taking home honors, while its most controversial nominee “Emily in Paris” was passed over by judges.

Netflix wasn’t the only streaming service to receive a nod; Amazon also performed well during last night’s festivities, winning awards for Sacha Baron Cohen's “Borat Subsequent Moviefilm” and John Boyega in “Small Axe,” its joint production with the BBC, while Disney+ won two awards for animated movie “Soul.”