Programming

Daytime Emmys Set Record* *For Smallest Prime Time Audience Ever

New Los Angeles location fails to boost ratings 5/05/2006 08:00:00 PM Eastern

Following the lowest-rated prime time Daytime Emmys ever, organizers and network executives will soon have to decide where to hold the event next year.

Despite heavy promotion and a Barbara Walters’ news-making announcement that Rosie O’Donnell will replace Today-bound Meredith Vieira on The View, ABC’s April 28 awards ceremony from the Kodak Theatre in Hollywood—the first time it originated from Los Angeles—turned in its worst performance since moving from daytime to prime time in 1991.

Finishing third for the Friday night behind CBS and NBC, the Daytime Emmys fell in all categories, including viewers (down 20% to 6.09 million from 7.62 million in 2005) and the core women 25-54 daytime demographic (off 16% to 3.1 rating/9 share versus 3.7/10 last year).

Peter Price, CEO of the National Academy of Television Arts & Sciences (NATAS), attributes the drop to the general trend of ratings erosion affecting the entire television business, not the new locale. He thinks the Nielsen ratings held up well enough to satisfy Emmy advertisers targeting older daytime viewers.

NATAS officials plan to start mapping out the 2007 show next month with CBS, which alternates carrying the awards with ABC. That process encompasses deciding on a location, with New York and Miami also under consideration, Price says.

He terms this year’s program “the best ever” and says the Kodak, home to the Oscars, is a “glamorous venue that puts a special spin ... and energy” into the program that kicks off the May sweeps. ABC devoted a good deal of promotion to the event, including on-air spots and a national bus tour that went from mall to mall.

As for the awards themselves, CBS led the pack with 15 Daytime Emmys. PBS grabbed 14 awards, with eight of those belonging to Sesame Street. Syndicated series nabbed 13 trophies; Ellen DeGeneres again counted best talk show and talk-show host among her six wins).

ABC left with seven Emmys, including best daytime drama for General Hospital. NBC, Food Network and Kids WB tied with two each, while AOL (the first digital winner in a new category), Discovery Health, Showtime and The Learning Channel each captured one.

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