Emmy telecast holds off attack from "Pirates"
An average of 16.2 million viewers tuned in for Sunday's three-hour awards show with a 5.2 rating/12 share in the adults 18-49 demographic, according to data for the week ended August 27 released Tuesday by Nielsen Media Research.
Despite dire forecasts of dismal viewership given the show's late-summer airdate three weeks before the traditional mid-September berth, the turnout was respectable. Viewership was down from last year's CBS telecast (18.7 million), but up from ABC's 2004 turn (13.8 million).
"Pirates," which aired at the same time last Sunday in defiance of a tradition that sees the other networks counter the Emmys with low-key fare, carried off 9.9 million viewers and a 3.7/10.
The Emmys ranked as the most-watched single primetime program since June (NBC's own "Deal or No Deal" finale). NBC said 35.1 million people saw at least part of the broadcast.
On the other hand, NBC's one-hour red carpet telecast averaged 7.2 million viewers and a 1.9/6, far behind CBS' "60 Minutes" (11.9 million, 2.7/9) which won the 7 p.m. slot.
Despite the boost from the Emmys, NBC wasn't able to win the week. That honor went by a nose to CBS, with an average 2.3 rating compared with NBC's 2.2/7, ABC's 2.2/7 and Fox's 2.1./7. CBS also won in total viewers with 7.3 million, compared with NBC's 6.8 million, ABC's 6.1 million and Fox's 5.9 million.
In the evening news race, two weeks before Katie Couric goes on the air for the "CBS Evening News," it was all "NBC Nightly News With Brian Williams." Williams' newscast averaged 8.1 million viewers compared with 7.3 million for ABC's "World News" and 7.1 million for "CBS Evening News."