The 2020 Golden Globes drew the smallest audience in 8 years

Brendan Morrow

The 2020 Golden Globes wasn't able to grow last year's audience, although it wasn't a ratings disaster.

An average of 18.3 million viewers tuned into Sunday's show, the smallest audience for the ceremony in eight years, per The Hollywood Reporter. In the demographic of adults 18 to 49, the ratings fell 10 percent.

Still, this result was better than it sounds considering it's a relatively minor viewership dip from last year's audience of 18.6 million. For comparison, the 2019 Emmys saw a much bigger drop-off, plunging to 6.9 million viewers from 10.2 million the year prior. The Washington Post's Steven Zeitchik called this Golden Globes result "somewhat heartening news" for the industry.

Deadline also points out that last year's Golden Globes had a better lead-in with an NFL playoff game that ended just six minutes before the ceremony started, whereas this year, the game ended about 20 minutes before Ricky Gervais kicked things off.

The top film prizes at the Golden Globes on Sunday were handed out to 1917, Sam Mendes' World War I drama that's not yet in wide release, and Once Upon a Time ... in Hollywood, the Quentin Tarantino film that became a box office hit over the summer. Succession and Fleabag were also awarded the top television awards, although the year's biggest TV event, Game of Thrones, received only one nomination that it didn't win.

The 2019 Oscars surprisingly bucked the trend of awards shows shedding viewership by improving for the first time in five years, but it remains to be seen whether the Academy can avoid another slip in 2020. Some pundits have speculated that the unusual number of controversies surrounding last year's Academy Awards — including the show going host-less after emcee Kevin Hart stepped down over old offensive tweets — gave it a ratings boost. No host has been announced for next month's show, which is set for Feb. 9.

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