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Audiences Slowly Returning to Grammys, Emmys … and the Oscars?

After an abysmal decade, award shows remember why they mattered in the first place

It’s been a rough few years for award shows.

Everything from the Oscars to the Tony Awards has seen a massive ratings drop since 2016. Perhaps viewers grew tired of political Hollywood lectures.

However, the last few years have shown a significant — while still not enormous — ratings boost for some of the bigger events. If 2024’s first ceremonies are any indication, award shows may creep closer to the gigantic audiences they once garnered.

Variety reports the award shows circa 2016-2017 proved all-powerful in terms of viewership. The Grammys pulled in more than 26 million viewers in 2017, while the Golden Globes grabbed an audience 20 million strong that same year.

The Emmys similarly drew north of 10 million viewers in 2016 and 2017.

None were bigger than The Oscars. Hollywood’s biggest night attracted 34.4 million viewers in 2016 and 32.9 million in 2017.

These numbers tumbled to record lows for nearly all genres by 2021, with audiences turning away en masse. Even The CMAs, the AMAs and Billboard Awards bled millions of viewers from their already smaller market shares.

Have award shows finally learned to put politics and diversity-driven motifs aside? Perhaps.

After bottoming out at 10.4 million viewers in 2021, the Oscars has seen a steady incline to 16.6 and 18.8 million viewers in 2022 and 2023, respectively.

The same goes for the Golden Globes and the Grammys. Both continued their upward trends this year. The Globes are up 2.5 million since 2021, but at 9.4 million they’ve still got a long way to go.

The Grammys however, benefited from the massive appeal of everyone’s favorite go-to girl, Taylor Swift. Even Jay-Z created headlines by criticizing the Grammy selection process that many rappers have complained about for years.

JAY-Z Accepts Dr. Dre Global Impact Award | 2024 GRAMMYs Acceptance Speech

This sparked a jump in viewership of 4.4 million compared to 2023, and a 7.7 million increase over their poorest showing in 2021. They, too, are still about 10 million viewers shy of their peak of 26 million in 2017, however.

Online, both the Golden Globes and the Grammys benefited from a live stream simulcast with Paramount+, Variety noted. The Grammys saw a 173 percent increase compared to their 2023 stream.

While smaller ceremonies have still pushed out vapid, virtue-signaling monologues, the recent awards telecasts eschewed political bromides. Now, the biggest battles rage over who didn’t win, or wasn’t even nominated, in a given category.

Cue the “Barbie” outrage.

As long as award recipients aren’t screaming “equity!” from the rooftops, audiences may continue to return.

Andrew Chapados is a writer and podcaster focusing on culture, entertainment and U.S. politics. He is also a contributor to Blaze News and Media Bezirgan. A former member of the Armed Forces, he still believes his time in public relations was a much worse experience. Please visit

Photo by Samuel Ramos on Unsplash

One Comment

  1. People are just returning to see if someone gets slapped again. Hollywood types are still infected with TDS and wokeness. Even when they are warned to calm down, they can’t resist the sweet taste of virtue signaling.

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