Ratings Posted; Emmys Draw Largest Audience Since 2006

Final ratings figures are scheduled to be released Tuesday but are not expected to change significantly.

Monday, Aug 30, 2010  |  Updated 2:45 PM PDT
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Kitchen Clockwork at the Emmys

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Jimmy serenaded the audience throughout the show, grabbing his friends out of the audience for help, including Stephen Colbert and Amy Poehler.

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Viewership for NBC's coverage of the 62nd annual Primetime Emmy Awards averaged 13.5 million viewers, the event's largest audience since 2006, according to preliminary figures released Monday by Nielsen Media Research.

Sunday's three-hour, one-minute ceremony from the Nokia Theatre hosted by talk show host Jimmy Fallon drew the most viewers for any non-sports prime-time program since the "American Idol" finale on May 26

The 1.3 percent increase from the preliminary figures for the 2009 ceremony came as the Emmys did not have to compete against an NBC "Sunday Night Football" game for the first time since 2006 and aired live coast-to-coast for the first time since 1976.

The viewership figure includes viewers who watched a West Coast replay but did not watch the live broadcast.

The increase follows the trend of rising viewership for awards shows. The Academy Awards drew its largest audience since 2005 and the Grammy Awards its largest since 2004 earlier this year.

Experts have said one reason for the increase is the "Twitter Factor," which has prompted both a larger tune-in and longer viewing as people both make and read comments on the website.

Final ratings figures are scheduled to be released Tuesday but are not expected to change significantly.

The Emmy ceremony usually is held in mid-September, one day before the start of the official television season, expect when it is televised on NBC.

The ceremony airs in August when it is carried on NBC because of its contract to carry "Sunday Night Football." Television viewership is traditionally lower in August because of summer vacations.

The ceremony rotates among the four major broadcast networks.

The 2009 ceremony, which aired on CBS, averaged 13.32 million viewers, according to preliminary figures, and 13.47 million, according to final figures.

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