Like a brilliant television series which is not necessarily guaranteed to receive awards, a ceremony that is nevertheless praised by critics is not guaranteed to achieve an audience success. The 75th edition of the Emmy Awards – the equivalent of the Oscars for American television – had the bitter experience of this on Monday January 15, recording its lowest historical level.

Postponed for four months because of strikes in Hollywood, this particular ceremony was followed by only 4.3 million viewers, according to provisional figures released Tuesday by the Fox channel, which broadcast it. The previous edition, in 2022, was followed by 5.9 million viewers on NBC, even fewer than the 2020 edition, nicknamed “PandEmmys” – the stars had stayed at home due to confinement – ​​which had attracted 6.1 million people on ABC. The 2021 Emmy Awards experienced a rebound with 7.1 million viewers on CBS. The four networks alternate broadcasts of the show.

The last time the Emmys reached 10 million viewers was in 2018 (10.2 million). In 2000, the show attracted 21.8 million viewers, a level it is unlikely to reach again.

This year’s audience is less than half that of the Golden Globes on CBS a week earlier, which honored both television and film and drew 9.4 million viewers.

An evening nevertheless hailed by critics

If the ceremony did not attract many people in front of the station, it nevertheless offered a beautiful spectacle, punctuated by nostalgic tributes to several series – The Sopranos, Ally McBeal, Grey’s Anatomy – which have marked the history of American television .

The evening, dominated by the series Succession and The Bear, was widely praised by American critics. The Los Angeles Times even calls it the “best Emmys in years.” But this was not enough to resist the headwinds that were blowing over this ceremony.

The Emmy Awards usually take place in September. But last year, the actors’ and writers’ strike paralyzed Hollywood for six months, upending their schedule. With actors banned from promotion during the strike, the ceremony was forced to opt for a postponement to January. A far from ideal stopgap to generate interest among the general public: the Emmys found themselves sandwiched between several major Hollywood awards dates, including the Golden Globes and the announcement of Oscar nominations.

Not to mention that because of the postponement, they rewarded series whose nominated seasons often began eighteen months ago, an eternity in the world of entertainment.

Very far from their golden age, all major American awards ceremonies are faced with a certain lack of interest from the general public, particularly the youngest, who spend more time on social networks or streaming platforms than in front of the television. But in the post-pandemic world, the Oscars and Golden Globes have seen their viewing figures rebound a bit, unlike the Emmy Awards.