The Grammys barely move the needle in the ratings

Jon Batiste is seen in the audience before going on stage to accept the award for Best Music Video for

Jon Batiste is seen in the audience before going on stage to accept the award for Best Music Video for “Freedom” at the 64th Grammy Awards, Sunday, April 3, 2022, in Las Vegas. (AP Photo/Chris Pizzello)

Chris Pizzello/Invision/AP

Despite a night of good vibes and performances from top performers in the music industry, the Grammy Awards barely moved the needle as a TV attraction.

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

Any increase in viewership year over year is usually cause for celebration in today’s world of television. But that has to be considered a disappointing performance considering that the previous week’s Oscars boosted its viewership by 58% compared to 2021.

Jon Batiste was the biggest Grammy winner on CBS, which featured performances from Billie Eilish, Olivia Rodrigo, BTS, Chris Stapleton, Justin Bieber and more.

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

On the sports front, the long-awaited NCAA Final Four contest between Duke and North Carolina drew a total of 16.25 million people Saturday night across multiple Turner cable networks, Nielsen said.

Sunday’s NCAA championship game in women’s basketball, which South Carolina won against Connecticut, was viewed 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 during 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 “CBS Evening News” had 5 million.

For the week of March 28 to April 3, the top 20 programs in prime time, their networks and their audiences:

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

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

3. “Grammy Awards” (10:54 p.m. 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: Hawaii,” 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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