Are the Emmys getting their mojo back?
CBS scored a larger audience for Sunday’s 2021 Emmy Awards, with the show increasing eyeballs by 16% — earning 7.4 million viewers — from last year’s ceremony, according to Deadline. The coronavirus pandemic-hindered 2020 show only tallied an average audience of 6.4 million.
However, CBS is not out of the woods yet. The three-hour-plus show was still down 34% from the last time CBS hosted the ceremony in 2017.
The 7.4 million figure is also just the number available for the linear broadcast alone. No DVR or Paramount+ streaming numbers have been released as of yet.
Sunday night’s show was the third-least-watched ceremony behind 2020 (an all-time low) and 2019. The 2018 Emmys were held on NBC and brought in 10.2 million viewers, while Fox’s 2019 show pulled 6.9 million viewers total.
Apple TV’s “Ted Lasso” — starring Jason Sudeikis — and Netflix’s “The Crown” swept up Sunday’s ceremony, while Cedric the Entertainer took the reins as host. Stars such as LL Cool J, Lil Dicky and Rita Wilson joined him in his opening monologue to rap Biz Markie’s hit “Just a Friend.”
However, Twitter had a field day with the evening’s telecast, as many called out the celebrities for going maskless at LA’s Microsoft Theater. The hashtag #EmmysSoWhite was also trending by the end of the night. The show set a record for diversity and had 49 black or indigenous people of color nominated across all categories. But the main wins were received by mainly white entertainers.
“Drag Race” host RuPaul Charles made history when he scored three awards Sunday night, making his 11 total wins the most for any black performer. The late Michael K. Williams was the favorite to win the Best Supporting Actor in a Drama award for his role on “Lovecraft Country,” but Tobias Menzies’ turn as Prince Philip on “The Crown” earned the golden statuette instead. Kerry Washington paid tribute to her friend Williams’ passing just before she announced the award’s winner.
Alex Trebek, Ed Asner, Helen McCrory, Norm Macdonald and more stars were remembered alongside Williams during the show’s In Memoriam segment — though several other were left out.