In an era when big TV audiences are becoming harder to come by, the 18.6 million people who watched the Sunday telecast of the 76th Golden Globes represented good news for NBC.
Nielsen data showed the three-hour-plus ceremony was down just 2% from the 2018 show. But among the 18-to-49 age group that advertisers seek most, the annual Hollywood Foreign Press Assn. awards show for movies and TV shows saw a 4% increase in viewership over last year.
The audience was in line with recent Golden Globes telecasts, which drew 19 million viewers in 2018 and 20 million viewers in 2017.
In general, the Golden Globes have not faced the kind of significant drop-offs by show business trophy programs such as the Oscars, Emmys and the Grammys, which have all seen double-digit annual decreases in recent years.
One factor hurting awards programs is younger viewers choosing to watch clips on social media platforms instead of the live broadcast. Such viewing is not counted in the data supplied by Nielsen.
But the loose, party-like atmosphere of the Golden Globes — where big-name movie and TV stars have been known to behave mischievously — has helped separate the show from the pack. There is also less competition from other first-run programming in early January.
This year’s annual fete was likely helped by a strong audience lead-in from NBC’s coverage of an NFC wild card playoff game in which the Philadelphia Eagles defeated the Chicago Bears 16-15 on the final play of the contest. It had an overnight rating of 22.9, the highest for an NFL wild card game on NBC since 1994.
Andy Samberg and Sandra Oh hosted the Golden Globes ceremony at the Beverly Hilton. While there were a number of speeches and gags about diversity in Hollywood, the ceremony did not have any of the anti-Donald Trump vitriol that has permeated other show-business awards shows in recent years.