NBC’s telecast for the 80th Golden Globes on Tuesday averaged a near-record low of 6.3 million viewers, according to Nielsen, the second-smallest audience for the annual ceremony and only slightly better than the viewership garnered by the Globes press conference held during the 2008 writers’ strike.
After a diversity and ethics scandal caused NBC to take the Globes off the air last year, the Hollywood Foreign Press Association’s attempted comeback didn’t gain back viewers and instead may have lost them. The 2021 edition, held bicoastally during the pandemic, was watched by 6.9 million. The pre-pandemic 2020 Globes drew an audience of 18.4 million.
There were several differences in the broadcast this year. NBC moved the show from its traditional Sunday slot to Tuesday. That meant no competition from the NFL but also no football lead-in. The awards were also live streamed on Peacock for the first time. (Digital viewership wasn’t released Wednesday.)
Awards show ratings have steeply fallen in recent years. But Tuesday’s Golden Globes, hosted by Jerrod Carmichael, was a pivotal moment for the embattled HFPA, which puts them on.
After a 2021 report revealed the press association had no Black members, stars and studios boycotted the Globes. Last year’s awards were unceremoniously held in a Beverly Hilton ballroom without any stars in attendance. Over the last year and a half, the HFPA has enacted reforms and revamped its membership to now number 96 people, including six Black voting members.
In the interim, NBC reworked its contract with the Globes and was broadcasting this year’s Globes on a one-year basis. The HFPA sold the Globes last year to Todd Boehly’s Eldridge Industries, which is turning it from a nonprofit to a for-profit venture. The firm also owns Dick Clark Productions, which produces the Globes, and the award show’s longtime home, the Beverly Hilton in Beverly Hills, California.
Tuesday’s Globes featured wins for Steven Spielberg’s “The Fabelmans,” the indie sci-fi hit “Everything Everywhere All at Once,” the Irish dark comedy “The Banshees of Inisherin,” the HBO series “White Lotus” and the public school sitcom “Abbott Elementary.”