Television

Golden Globes viewership numbers hit rock bottom

Golden Globes viewership numbers hit rock bottom

Weighted for two years by accusations of racism, sexism and corruption, the Golden Globes recorded the lowest audience in their history for their return to television this year, according to preliminary figures published Wednesday by the NBC channel.

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The ceremony drew 6.3 million viewers on Tuesday night, up from 18 million in 2020 before the pandemic and scandals hit these previously well-watched awards as they kick off awards season in the United States.

Long perceived as Hollywood’s favorite evening, the event took place remotely in 2021 due to the Covid-19 epidemic and was only watched by 6.9 million Americans.

The Golden Globes were then deprived of television and shunned by the gratin in 2022, because of the scandals surrounding the Hollywood Foreign Press Association (HFPA), which constitutes their jury and has long had no black member.

These new audience figures reinforce doubts about the viability of these rewards. This is the lowest audience ever recorded by NBC for a gala with a red carpet: only the 2008 edition of the Golden Globes, held in the form of a press conference because of a writers’ strike in Hollywood, had does worse.

After the 2022 boycott, the American channel had agreed to rebroadcast the 80th ceremony this year. But the contract signed with the HFPA was only valid for 2023, a far cry from previous multi-year commitments.

Tuesday evening, many stars, such as directors Steven Spielberg, James Cameron and Guillermo del Toro or actors Colin Farrell, Brad Pitt and Michelle Yeoh attended the ceremony in person.

A sign that a large part of Hollywood seems ready to forgive the HFPA, which has initiated reforms to improve the diversity of voters at the Golden Globes and to prohibit its members from accepting gifts from the studios.

But several winners were also conspicuous by their absence on stage. Elected best actress in a dramatic film, Cate Blanchett (“Tar”), for example, mentioned problems with the schedule.

Faced with poor audiences, an NBC spokesperson reminded AFP that the Golden Globes “have historically been broadcast on Sunday evenings”, a more favorable box for achieving a good score.

Given their schedule, this year NBC had moved them to Tuesday evening, to prevent the ceremony from suffering from competition from the American football championship (NFL).

Audiences for major awards ceremonies have been at half mast for several years, in particular because young people spend more time on social networks or streaming platforms than in front of television.

But by comparison, the Oscars had largely rebounded in 2022 after the pandemic, with 16 million viewers, compared to 10 million the previous year.

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