Grammys barely move the needle in television ratings

Apr 5, 2022, 2:57 PM | Updated: 3:26 pm
North Carolina players celebrate their victory against Duke after a college basketball game in the ...

North Carolina players celebrate their victory against Duke after a college basketball game in the semifinal round of the Men's Final Four NCAA tournament, Saturday, April 2, 2022, in New Orleans. North Carolina won 81-77. (AP Photo/David J. Phillip)

(AP Photo/David J. Phillip)

NEW YORK (AP) — Despite a night of feel-good vibes and performances by the music industry’s top acts, the Grammy Awards barely moved the needle as a television attraction.

The show reached just under 9.6 million viewers on Sunday, the Nielsen company said. That’s a 4% increase over 2021’s broadcast, a more intimate affair because of the pandemic, and the smallest-ever audience for the Grammys by a wide margin.

Any year-to-year viewership increase is usually a cause for celebration in today’s television world. But that has to be considered a disappointing showing when you consider the previous week’s Academy Awards increased its audience by 58% over 2021.

Jon Batiste was the biggest winner at the Grammys on CBS, which featured performances by Billie Eilish, Olivia Rodrigo, BTS, Chris Stapleton, Justin Bieber and others.

“Don’t even think of it as an awards show,” host Trevor Noah said at one point. “Think of it as a concert where we’re giving out awards.”

On the sports front, the much-awaited NCAA Final Four contest between Duke and North Carolina reached a total of 16.25 million people Saturday night over several Turner cable networks, Nielsen said.

Sunday’s NCAA championship game in women’s basketball, won by South Carolina over Connecticut, was seen by 4.47 million people on ESPN.

CBS won the week in prime time, averaging 5.3 million viewers. ABC had 3.2 million, NBC had 2.4 million, Fox had 2.1 million, Univision had 1.5 million, Ion Television had 1 million and Telemundo had 920,000.

Fox News Channel was the most-watched cable network in prime time, averaging 2.5 million viewers. TBS had 1.99 million, ESPN had 1.67 million, TNT had 1.47 million and HGTV had 1.1 million.

ABC’s “World News Tonight” won the evening news ratings race with an average of 8.4 million viewers. NBC’s “Nightly News” had 7 million viewers and the “CBS Evening News” had 5 million.

For the week of March 28-April 3, the top 20 prime time programs, their networks and viewerships:

1. NCAA Men’s Basketball Tournament: Duke vs. North Carolina, TBS, 9.87 million.

2. “Grammy Awards” (8 to 10:53 p.m. Eastern), CBS, 9.59 million.

3. “Grammy Awards” (10:54 to 11:30 p.m.), CBS, 8.76 million.

4. “FBI,” CBS, 7.58 million.

5. “NCAA Pregame Show,” TBS, 7.24 million.

6. “Young Sheldon,” CBS, 6.93 million.

7. “NCIS,” CBS, 6.83 million.

8. “60 Minutes,” CBS, 6.48 million.

9. NCAA Men’s Basketball Tournament: Duke vs. North Carolina, Turner, 6.38 million.

10. “Ghosts,” CBS, 6.23 million.

11. “FBI: International,” CBS, 6.22 million.

12. “NCIS: Hawai’i,” CBS, 6.13 million.

13. “FBI: Most Wanted,” CBS, 5.84 million.

14. “Blue Bloods,” CBS, 5.68 million.

15. “American Idol” (Monday), ABC, 5.66 million.

16. “Survivor,” CBS, 5.63 million.

17. “The Neighborhood,” CBS, 5.42 million.

18. “Bob Hearts Abishola,” CBS, 5.13 million.

19. “United States of Al,” CBS, 5.02 million.

20. “911,” Fox, 4.97 million.

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Grammys barely move the needle in television ratings