The 2022 Emmys Just Set A Disappointing Record

After two months of voting to determine its winners, the "74th Annual Primetime Emmy Awards" unfolded across NBC and Peacock on September 12, 2022. Apple TV+'s "Ted Lasso" won its second consecutive award for outstanding comedy series, while HBO took home a second outstanding drama series Emmy for "Succession" as well as outstanding limited series for "The White Lotus." The telecast also featured some historical moments with Lee Jung-jae of "Squid Games" becoming the first Asian actor to win outstanding lead actor in a drama series. Another long streak was broken with Sheryl Lee Ralph of "Abbott Elementary" claiming outstanding supporting actress in a comedy series, becoming the first Black actress to win that category since Jackee Harry won in 1987 for "227" (per The Hollywood Reporter).

Despite some frustrating Emmys snubs as well as an unending pattern of repeat winners, the awards show was not without some entertaining moments courtesy of host Kenan Thompson. But with each major awards gala, no matter how much work is put into staging an entertaining and exciting ceremony, audiences are finding it increasingly hard to stay glued to their televisions. The 2022 Emmys are no different in this trend and just set a disappointing record.

Ratings for the 2022 Primetime Emmys are an all-time low

In recent years, the Primetime Emmy Awards have kept trending downward in viewership. The 2018, 2019, and 2020 ceremonies each tallied descending ratings before a small spike in viewers for the 2021 program. An upward trend was not to be as the 2022 Emmys broadcast suffered a double-digit drop from last year, with only 5.9 million tuning in (via Deadline). This figure does not mark the final tally for the telecast since streaming numbers from Peacock and additional DVR viewings have not been factored in yet. The ceremony is normally held on a Sunday but was moved to a Monday this year so as not to interfere with NBC's "Sunday Night Football," which was also the case for the 2014 and 2018 awards on the same network.

The competition this year was substantial, with ABC's "Monday Night Football" airing at the same time. But many viewers simply chose to check in on the winners without feeling the need to watch a three-hour event. The Los Angeles Times summed up this awards show freefall perfectly: "Social media also has chipped away at awards show viewing. Real-time reporting across various platforms reveals the winners, speech highlights, audience reactions, and what designer clothes are being worn on the red carpet." According to the Emmys website, the annual program is currently locked into an eight-year deal with the top four broadcast networks (ABC, CBS, NBC, and FOX). The 2023 event will air on FOX.