The awards show drew in 6.1 million viewers, a 12 percent decrease from last year, according to new data

By Georgia Slater
September 22, 2020 10:32 AM
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Jimmy Kimmel is looking on the bright side after learning about the all-time-low ratings for the 2020 Emmys.

During his first episode back on Jimmy Kimmel Live! following summer vacation and after hosting the Emmy Awards on Sunday, Kimmel made light of the news about the record-low ratings.

"Well, I hosted the virtual Emmys last night. They're saying it was the highest-rated Emmys ever. Oh, the lowest? Oh, all right," he began.

"Well, we set a record, let's just say that," Kimmel teased.

According to Nielsen data, the 72nd annual Emmys drew in 6.1 million viewers — a 12 percent decrease from the awards show last year, CNN reported.

The broadcast received a 1.2 rating for the 18-49 age demographic this year, marking a drop from the 1.7 rating the show was given in 2019, Billboard reported.

But despite the dip in ratings, Kimmel called the show "a lot of fun given the difficult circumstances."

The comedian went on to detail the "weirdest" part of hosting the broadcast, which was held virtually for the first time ever due to the COVID-19 pandemic.

"When it was over there’s usually these parties and everyone’s carrying their Emmys around and celebrating. But this year, the show ended and I was like ‘I guess I’ll go into my car and drive home,'" he laughed. "It was nothing."

Kimmel also teased some of this year's winners for their Zoom backgrounds when accepting an Emmys statuette.

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"For instance, we learned the winner for best actor, Jeremy Strong, has been haunting a Sears portrait studio," Kimmel joked of the Succession actor, who won for lead actor in a drama, and his grey ensemble with matching backdrop.

He also poked fun at Zendaya, who took home an Emmy for best actress in a drama, for having a room full of people behind her during the broadcast.

"We learned that the only person social-distancing in Zendaya’s house was Zendaya herself," he joked of the Europhia star.

Jeremy Strong
ABC
Zendaya
ABC

The awards show was initially planned to take place at the Microsoft Theatre in downtown Los Angeles but was announced in July it will be moved to a virtual format. To abide by social distancing guidelines, Kimmel hosted remotely from a stage inside the Staples Center, without an audience or red carpet.

Ahead of the ceremony, Kimmel — who has emceed the ceremony twice before — opened up to PEOPLE about the challenges of hosting a virtual awards ceremony.

"As a comedian, getting no laughs — which is certainly something I’ve become accustomed to, even in front of audiences — is tough," he told PEOPLE. "That’s the measure of whether something was funny. So the challenge is how to make it feel like not all the jokes are bombing."