Critics didn’t love it, and Movie Twitter was horrified by certain outcomes, but NBC’s Sunday night telecast of the 2019 Golden Globes was a ratings winner. Per Nielsen, about 18.6 million people watched the Sandra Oh and Andy Samberg–hosted event, making it the most-watched non-sports or news event on TV since the Oscars aired on ABC last March.
The Globes also bucked a recent trend that saw major awards shows suffering double-digit ratings declines: Sunday’s broadcast dipped a statistically insignificant 2 percent from last year’s show (19.1 million). But perhaps more importantly, in the demographic group targeted by NBC’s ad-sales team — adult viewers under 50 — the 2019 Globes actually went up, rising to a 5.2 rating (vs. last year’s 5.0 rating). By contrast, last year’s Oscars declined by a jaw-dropping 24 percent versus 2017, while the Grammys suffered a similar year-to-year collapse. It surely helped that this year, the Globes benefited from having as its lead-in what is looking like the most-watched NFL wild-card playoff game on NBC since 1994. (Last year, the network aired a standard red-carpet show before the awards.) NBC also hasn’t released half-hour averages for last night’s show — the longest, at over 3 hours and 15 minutes, since they moved to NBC in 1996 — which would indicate whether audiences stayed with it until the end. But at a time when just about everything on linear television is going down, NBC and Globes producer Dick Clark Productions are no doubt doing the Fandango today. A round of Fiji water for everyone!