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The Golden Globes Returned to TV with Just 6.3 Million Viewers

The Jerrod Carmichael-steered Golden Globe Awards on NBC had the show's smallest audience since (at least) 1996.

BEVERLY HILLS, CALIFORNIA - JANUARY 10: 80th Annual GOLDEN GLOBE AWARDS -- Pictured: Quentin Tarantino speaks onstage at the 80th Annual Golden Globe Awards held at the Beverly Hilton Hotel on January 10, 2023 in Beverly Hills, California. -- (Photo by Rich Polk/NBC via Getty Images)

Quentin Tarantino speaks onstage at the 80th Annual Golden Globe Awards held at the Beverly Hilton Hotel on January 10, 2023

NBC via Getty Images

The 2023 Golden Globe Awards, likely the final one on NBC, drew 6.3 million total viewers on the broadcast television network, according to Nielsen. That is down 10 percent from the last Globes that aired, which was marred by the Covid pandemic and occurred relatively late into the new year, on February 28, 2021.

Tuesday’s tally is way down from the show’s pre-Covid averages, and the lowest since — at least — NBC got the Globes back in 1996. (It’s hard to come by numbers that pre-date Nielsen’s digital-records era.)

There was no Golden Globes telecast in 2022, though the Hollywood Foreign Press Association issued awards anyway.

The ’23 Golden Globes, airing on a Tuesday, had a 1.1 rating among adults 18-49, per Nielsen data. We do not yet have viewership statistics from Peacock; suffice it to say, they will only provide a minor boost to the overall picture. And it’s not a pretty picture — especially when you consider the pre-existing declines.

In 2021, the show sunk 62 percent year over year to just 6.987 million viewers on NBC, down from more than 18 million in 2020. (Stars appearing on Zoom was a ratings killer.) The 66 percent decline to a 1.6 rating in the key demo, adults 18-49, was even more severe. And 2020 had already been the lowest Nielsen numbers for the Globes since 2012. (Though Peacock launched in time for the ’21 ceremony, it did not simulcast the show.)

The Globes almost always aired on a Sunday, usually in early-to-mid January, on NBC. This year was an exception, one chosen to avoid the primetime football in the way this year (the NFL expanded from a 17-week season to an 18-week season since the 2021 Globes). Both NBC and the HFPA were probably OK flying under the radar a bit this time.

The 2023 Golden Globes took place at their usual spot, the Beverly Hilton’s International Ballroom. Jerrod Carmichael hosted; IndieWire’s Ben Travers said he “soared” with the difficult duty, for which he was paid $500,000. “The Carmichael Show” aired for three seasons on NBC.

Here, we should point out that a 1.1 rating and especially 6.3 million viewers is good for a broadcast network’s primetime average these days — it’s just not good enough for a very expensive awards show.

NBC made $50.3 million (or less than half what the Oscars rake in) in 2021 advertising revenue from the Golden Globes, according to Kantar research; the network made $47.5 million from commercials in 2020. There’s just one problem: NBC had historically paid the Hollywood Foreign Press Association and DCP (fka dick clark productions) roughly $60 million per year to air the ceremony.

The Globes were put in timeout after multiple scandals, including the revelation that in 2021, there was not one Black member among the entire Hollywood Foreign Press Association’s membership. The organization says it has taken steps to rectify the issue.

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