Daniel Kaluuya (Courtesy of Christopher Polk/NBC)
Sunday’s 78th Golden Globe Awards, the HFPA’s first-ever bicoastal and virtual show, was hosted by longtime collaborators Tina Fey and Amy Poehler, who had previously hosted the event consecutively from 2013 to 2015. Not even these fan-favorite female powerhouses, however, could save the socially distanced soirée from soured ratings.
Last night’s three-hour awards broadcast drew a mere 5.4 million viewers and a 1.2 rating among adults 18-49 according to non-time zone adjusted numbers from Nielsen. Though these early numbers are incomplete and don’t include viewing in the Pacific time zone, they paint a bleak picture for NBC, which in 2018 signed a new deal to pay roughly $60 million per year to televise the awards show. Last year, preliminary numbers were significantly higher, with the telecast averaging 14.8 million viewers and getting a 3.8 demo rating. Those numbers adjusted up to 18.3 million viewers and a 4.7 demo rating in final live-plus-same-day data from Nielsen.
In 2019, the show scored a 5.2 rating and 18.6 million viewers, up a few percentage points from the 2018 telecast which drew a 5.0 rating and 19 million viewers.
Fey emceed live from the Rockefeller Center’s Rainbow Room in New York City, while Poehler hosted from the Globes’ usual location inside the Beverly Hilton Hotel in Beverly Hills, California. Throughout the night, the dynamic duo was joined in-person by special guests, including Kenan Thompson and Maya Rudolph who did a bit, presenters Christian Slater, Tiffany Haddish, Cynthia Erivo, Gal Gadot, Ben Stiller, Christopher Meloni and Rosie Perez (among others), and Spike Lee’s children, Satchel and Jackson, the Golden Globes’ ambassadors for 2021. The pair were also “joined” by celebrities who teleconferenced their award presentation duties, such as Sandra Oh and Colin Farrell.
Sunday’s ceremony saw Amazon’s “Borat Subsequent Moviefilm” nabbing the best motion picture comedy or musical award, Chloé Zhao’s “Nomadland” scoring best motion picture drama and A24’s “Minari” taking the best motion picture in a foreign language trophy home. Meanwhile, “The Queen’s Gambit,” “The Crown” and “Schitt’s Creek” won some of the biggest prizes on the TV front.
ABC’s “American Idol” came second to the awards show in the ranks, drawing a 1.0 in the key, adults ages 18-49 demographic and 6.47 million viewers at 8 p.m. Rounding out third was a new episode of ABC’s “America’s Funniest Home Videos,” which obtained a 0.8 in the key demo and 5.65 million viewers.
Elsewhere on television, CBS’s “60 Minutes” at 7 p.m. was the most-watched broadcast on Sunday, delivering 7.92 million viewers and drawing a 0.6 rating. The show was broadcast at the same time as the “Golden Globes Pre-Show,” which was also held by NBC (0.7, 3.71). The network also aired new episodes of “The Equalizer” at 8 p.m. which scored 7.58 million viewers and a 0.7 rating in the key demo, followed by “NCIS: Los Angeles” at 9 p.m. (0.5, 5.72) and “NCIS: New Orleans” at 10 p.m. (0.5, 4.93).
Fox’s latest trivia game show to step into the network’s scene and mostly animated series Sunday night slate, “Cherries Wild,” scored major spikes in both the key demo (0.5, up 92.31% compared to last week’s series premiere), and in viewership (2.52 million, a 110.46% boost). The network also aired new episodes of “Bless the Harts” at 7:30 p.m. (0.3, 1.02), “The Simpson’s” at 8 p.m. (0.4, 1.27), “Bob’s Burgers” at 9 p.m. (0.3, 1.02) and “Family Guy” at 9:30 p.m. (0.4, 1.09).
Additionally, The CW ran new episodes of “Batwoman” at 8 p.m., drawing a 0.1 in the key demo and 0.48 million viewers, and “Charmed” (0.1, 0.34), which substantially increased by 66.67% in key demo numbers compared to last week’s episode.
Variety's Mónica Marie Zorrilla contributed to this post.