Hollywood Award Season Stumbles Out of the Gate - Golden Globes Suffers Double-Digit Drop in Audience

(Paul Drinkwater/NBC via AP)

The first trophy gala of the year was roundly ignored.

Last night was a bit of a rarity in that our nation’s royalty — the celebrity set — was not deified nor showered with respect and rapt attention, but instead suffered inglorious insults while being ignored. I detailed the Golden Globes ceremony in a live-blog last evening, and deeply enjoyed the caustic social drone-strike delivered by show host Ricky Gervais. Few others, however, had witnessed such giddiness it seems. They have been content to view highlights from the carnage.

The ratings for last night’s show have been released and it will take a fleet of PR agents to buff up these dismal figures. No matter which metrics are applied so far these are horrid numbers. The overall overnight audience dropped a few percentage points over the 2019 telecast, itself a drop over the prior year. But the harsh news was in the prime advertising demographic.

The overall audience was just over 18 million viewers, down -2% from last year — while that total was also down -2% from the 2018 broadcast. Yet the numbers for the 18-49 age group plunged -11% from the 2019 figure. This represents the lowest rating in that key viewer category in 23 years. It was that far back when NBC took over the broadcast rights.

While the Golden Globes are lightly regarded overall they are considered the driving force of awards season. Many of those nominated, as well as the winners, parlay the attention earned in the first awards of the year into a push for Academy Awards consideration. This does not give encouragement for that telecast.

Last year, the Academy Awards telecast had an increase in viewers, but that was coming off the lowest-rated Oscars show of all time, and stands as the second-lowest rating for the awards. This year there is not a significant amount of heat in any particular films and performances, and maybe beyond Joaquin Phoenix in ‘’Joker’’ few of last night’s winners did much to spike interest.

The winner for Best Picture, ‘’1917’’ is a war epic without major stars and it is not out in wide release yet. The possible title that did heat up last night was Quentin Tarantino’s ‘’Once Upon A Time In Hollywood’’, which bucked the trend by being a film released in the summer and not in the last months, during the awards season. It won for Best Comedy Film, Screenplay, and Brad Pitt won for Supporting Actor.

These are not exactly the type of titles that get the heavy buzz going ahead of the show. This could be another dismal year for the ratings from all early appearances.

Brad Slager
Covering politics, as well as the business side of Show Business. Expert in fine bourbons, good cigars, competent hockey teams, and horrible movies.

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