The 2020 Grammys drew the show's smallest audience in more than a decade

Brendan Morrow

Stop us if you've heard this one: an awards show just slipped in the ratings and drew its smallest audience in years.

This time, it's the 2020 Grammy Awards, which 18.7 million viewers tuned into on Sunday night, per The Hollywood Reporter. That's the Grammys' smallest audience since 2008, when 17.18 million viewers tuned in, the Reporter notes. The 2006 Grammys remain the show's all-time low in terms of viewership, as 17 million people watched that year.

The 2020 Grammys also drew a 5.4 rating among adults 18-49, which Variety notes makes it the lowest-rated, if not the least-watched, Grammys ever.

Still, TVLine notes that this year's Grammys, which saw Billie Eilish sweep the four top categories, was the TV season's highest-rated entertainment program so far. But this continues the trend of awards shows slipping in the ratings after the 2020 Golden Globes drew the smallest audience in eight years. Before that, the 2019 Emmys was a ratings catastrophe, drawing the smallest audience in Emmys history and plunging more than 30 percent from the previous year. With that in mind, the Grammys' drop certainly could have been worse seeing as the Reporter notes the show only declined about five percent in viewers.

Some awards shows have bucked this downward trend, though, including the 2019 Academy Awards, which actually improved its viewership after years of declines. Can the 2020 Oscars hold steady, or will it once again slip like the Grammys? We'll find out when the Oscars air, once again without a host, on Feb. 9.

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