Emmys get surprise ratings ‘win’ — 2021 was most watched in three years after an all time low during COVID

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This year’s Primetime Emmys telecast racked up surprisingly good ratings — amid a genre that’s becoming a sore spot for TV execs.

Preliminary Nielsen data estimates that 7.4 million people watched the telecast Sunday, Sept. 19, 2021, which featured Cedric the Entertainer as host and aired on CBS.

As additional data trickles in, that number is expected to rise slightly.

Last year ABC aired the ceremony from a COVID-19 “bubble” inside of the Staples Center.

In 2020, 6.1 million people tuned in to watch host Jimmy Kimmel present awards from a small enclosed space with limited on site celebrities — and statuettes being handed out to winners joining remotely from their homes or small gatherings.

The year before that, which was pre-pandemic, 6.9 million people watched the festivities, so the 2021 numbers mark an increased in viewers over both years.

The 2020 ceremony was an all time low.

The Primetime Emmys rotate among ABC, CBS, NBC and Fox. In the days before streaming and cable series becoming so prominent, these networks collectively carried most of the shows that were nominated, so it made sense rotate between them.

Now, however, streamers such as Netflix and Amazon Prime Video seem to rack up more nominees every year. For example, this year saw Netflix tie an all time record for most individual awards in a year, thanks largely to “The Crown” and “The Queen’s Gambit.”