Golden Globes ratings rebound to 9.4 million viewers, up from 2023 telecast

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This image released by CBS shows host Jo Koy during the 81st Annual Golden Globe Awards in Beverly Hills, Calif., on Sunday, Jan. 7, 2024. (Sonja Flemming/CBS via AP)

NEW YORK – Reviews have been poor for Sunday's 81st Golden Globes, but the telecast pulled in an average of 9.4 million viewers, up about 50% from last year, according to CBS.

The ceremony had the benefit of an NFL lead-in, as well as an especially starry gathering that drew Taylor Swift, Oprah Winfrey, Timothée Chalamet, Kylie Jenner, Leonardo DiCaprio and many more. The night's biggest winner, “Oppenheimer,” was also a huge ticket-seller, with nearly $1 billion in box office.

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But the broadcast hosted by comedian Jo Koy, was slammed by critics for a fumbled opening monologue and a rushed pace throughout that struggled to rekindle the “Hollywood's party of the year”-vibe that the Globes have long fostered.

But more viewers tuned in than they have since before the pandemic. Back in 2020, 18.4 million watched the Globes.

The ratings were a marked improvement over last year's Globes. That telecast, hosted by Jerrod Carmichael and aired on a Tuesday, attracted 6.3 million viewers, a new low for the ceremony on NBC. At their peak, the Globes often drew closer to 20 million viewers.

Amid the decline of linear television, all award shows have struggled to reach the numbers they once did. But the Globes have been tested especially due to their own actions. After The Los Angeles Times reported that the HFPA had no Black members, Hollywood boycotted the organization and the 2022 Globes were booted off the air.

They returned in 2023 on a one-year trial with NBC, but the Globes' network home for decades ultimately dropped the show. After shopping the broadcast around, including to streaming platforms, CBS last month signed on to air Sunday’s show.

Sunday's broadcast was a crucial test for the revamped Globes. Following the scandals, the awards were acquired by Eldridge Industries and Dick Clark Productions, which Penske Media owns, and turned into a for-profit venture. The Hollywood Foreign Press Association was dissolved and a group of some 300 entertainment journalists from around the world was formed to vote on the awards.

CBS also streamed it to Showtime subscribers on Paramount TV+. CBS didn't provide streaming viewership figures but said it was the second-largest live-streamed CBS special event on Paramount+.

Koy, speaking Monday on ABC's “GMA3,” acknowledged that he would “be lying” if he said the criticism “doesn’t hurt."

“It’s a tough room. And it was a hard job, I’m not going to lie," said Koy, who landed the hosting job two weeks before the ceremony. "Getting that gig, and then having the amount of time that we had to prepare — that was a crash course.”

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