Emmy Host Jimmy Kimmel Has Perfect Response to All-Time Low Viewership

The gods of showbiz say the show must go on, and on the Emmys went, global pandemic be damned. This year's event, the 72nd Emmy Awards, was largely a virtual affair, only having a handful of in-person hosts and presenters at a Los Angeles' STAPLES Center to help move things along. Unfortunately for those involved in the production, a grim record was set for the second year in a row — this year's event was the lowest-rated Emmys production since the annual gala has been televised.

Jimmy Kimmel, this year's emcee, joked about setting the record on his much-anticipated return to Jimmy Kimmel Live! Monday night after a summer break.

"Well, I hosted the virtual Emmys last night. They’re saying it was the highest-rated Emmys ever. Oh, the lowest? Oh, all right," the comedian joked during an opening monologue. "Well, we set a record, let’s just say that."

According to Nielsen data obtained by THR, the Sunday night broadcast was watched by 6.1 million people for a 1.2 rating in the coveted 18-49 demographic. Last year, which was also a record-low year, drew 7 million viewers for a 1.7 rating in the demographic.

The Emmys included plenty of wins for genre projects, especially when it comes to HBO's Watchmen limited series. Both Regina King and Yahya Abdul-Mateen II won Emmys for their respective roles, as did series showrunner Damon Lindelof. In a post-win interview, Lindelof confirmed his Oustanding Limited Series win all but guarantees he won't return to the property in the future.

"It would feel like a huge betrayal of winning limited series to come back and say, 'it was only a limited series'," Lindelof said.

Earlier this year, the writer said he'd support someone else should they want to take the reins for a sophomore season, but said he didn't feel like doing it himself.


"It's not even about being tapped out, it's more about me wanting to honor what Watchmen was before I became a part of it," Lindelof said. "The legacy of Watchmen is Alan [Moore] and Dave [Gibbons] created it and it sat for 30 years, obviously Zack [Snyder] made his movie which was a pretty canonical adaptation of the 12 issues, and then we made our season of television. That was my turn. I got in the middle of the dance floor for a minute and got to do my move, but then you retreat to the edge of the circle and it's someone else’s turn to dance."

Cover photo by ABC via Getty Images