Insights

The Emmys On TV Historical Audience Ratings
Article

The Emmys On TV Historical Audience Ratings

Sunday’s broadcast of the 2008 Emmy Awards drew just over 12.3 million U.S. viewers. By comparison, the 2000 Emmy Awards drew the largest U.S. television audience (21.8 million viewers) of any Emmys telecast in the past 20 years.

The 1979 Emmys, hosted by Henry Winkler and Cheryl Ladd, drew the largest TV audience on record (20.8 million households). The 1986 Emmy Awards, hosted by David Letterman, ranked second overall, with 20.2 million households — an estimated 35.8 million viewers ages two and older — tuning in.

Nielsen’s Emmy ratings date back to 1956.

Date Network Number of Households Number of Viewers (P2+)
9/21/2008* ABC 9,371,000 12,339,000
9/16/2007* FOX 9,445,000 12,951,000
8/27/2006* NBC 11,669,000 16,184,000
9/18/2005 CBS 13,760,000 18,683,000
9/19/2004 ABC 10,336,000 13,788,000
9/21/2003 FOX 12,751,000 17,937,000
9/22/2002 NBC 14,397,000 19,987,000
11/4/2001 CBS 12,045,000 17,117,000
9/10/2000 ABC 14,554,000 21,798,000
9/12/1999 FOX 11,777,000 17,454,000
9/13/1998 NBC 13,526,000 19,365,000
9/14/1997 CBS 13,264,000 18,774,000
9/8/1996 ABC 13,962,000 20,582,000
9/10/1995 FOX 11,892,000 18,041,000
9/11/1994 ABC 13,928,000 21,246,000
9/19/1993 ABC 12,811,000 18,900,000
8/30/1992 FOX 12,802,000 20,415,000
8/25/1991 FOX 11,640,000 18,507,600
9/16/1990 FOX 7,630,000 12,299,566
9/17/1989 FOX 10,500,000 17,209,500
8/28/1988 FOX 9,210,000 15,426,750
Source: The Nielsen Company (1988 – 2008)
*Note: Live+Same Day viewing estimates include DVR playback on the same day, defined as 3AM – 3AM

View Nielsen’s historic Emmy Awards TV ratings from 1956 to present.