Golden Globe Awards - Season 78

Hosts Tina Fey and Amy Poehler speak at the Golden Globe Awards on Sunday. The awards show’s ratings plunged from last year’s.  NBC via AP

NEW YORK — The pandemic-era Golden Globes sank to 6.9 million viewers, down a whopping 64% from 2020 and only barely beating the year when a writer’s strike forced NBC to show a news conference announcing the winners.

Last year’s show, in the pre-lockdown era, reached 18.4 million viewers, the Nielsen company said.

Big winners in Sunday’s ceremony were the films “Nomadland” and “Borat Subsequent Moviefilm” and the television programs “The Crown” and “The Queen’s Gambit.”

The writer’s strike curtailed the Globes in 2008 and only 6 million people watched the news conference. Otherwise, this year’s show had by far the smallest audience since NBC began telecasting the awards in 1996.

NBC anticipated a ratings bloodbath, the only question was how much. Tina Fey and Amy Poehler co-hosted, but on separate coasts: Poehler in the show’s traditional home of the Beverly Hilton and Fey in New York’s Rainbow Room.

For a country sick of Zoom meetings, most of the nominees appeared remotely and there was no red carpet. Some stars dressed for the occasion, others didn’t bother. “Ted Lasso” star Jason Sudeikis wore a sweatshirt for his acceptance speech.

The Hollywood Foreign Press Association, which runs the Golden Globes, was reeling from an investigation by The Los Angeles Times that revealed ethical lapses and the news that the organization had no Black members who voted on winners.

Nominated films also suffered from a severe lack of buzz, in large part because theaters were largely closed. Since film buffs had to navigate a soup of streaming services to keep up with what was going on, there was no runaway success to entice viewers.

The shuddering sound you hear at the ratings news is coming from ABC and the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences, which puts on the Oscars. The Academy Awards in 2020 reached a record low 23.6 million viewers, and that was also pre-lockdown.

The Oscars will be held on April 25, giving organizers hope that with more people vaccinated against COVID, it might have more in-person elements.


Only subscribers are eligible to post comments. Please subscribe or to participate in the conversation. Here’s why.

Use the form below to reset your password. When you've submitted your account email, we will send an email with a reset code.