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The Grammy Awards make for one of the biggest events in music each year as the biggest names in the biz dress up to the nines (usually, anyway) and come together in one glamorous location. Awards shows have been known to deliver killer ratings for the networks on which they air, but it's always difficult to predict which will attract viewers en masse and which won't hook too many people. The 2018 Grammys aired on January 28 with James Corden hosting, and we now know how much of a hit they were. Unfortunately, the 2018 Grammys had the lowest ratings in the show's history.
The show -- which ran for a whopping three and a half hours -- turned in disappointing numbers in both ratings and viewership. The 2018 Grammy Awards scored a 5.9 rating in the key 18-49 age demographic and were watched by 19.8 million viewers in time zone adjusted calculations. To contrast, Variety reports that the 2017 Grammy Awards scored a 7.8 key demo rating and were watched by 26.1 million viewers. Ratings and viewership both dropped by approximately 24% from 2017 to 2018. That drop combined with the fact that no previous Grammys broadcast scored lower means that this was not a good year for the Grammys.
That said, the Grammys still made a great night for CBS. In fact, thanks to the Grammys, CBS ended the night with a 5.0 rating and 16.7 million viewers. With those numbers, CBS easily won the night among the big four broadcast networks. ABC came in second with a 1.0 rating and 4.8 million viewers in the 18-49 demographic, with NBC coming in third with an 0.5 rating and 2.5 million viewers. Fox came in fourth with a disappointing 0.4 rating and 1.2 million viewers.
It is worth noting that most of the networks decided not to bother airing original programming against the Grammys, which were always likely to score big numbers. Only ABC aired originals with two episodes of Shark Tank, with one at 9 p.m. and another at 10 p.m. Interestingly, the 9 p.m. episode was up in ratings and viewership from the same time slot the previous week.
Bruno Mars dominated the 2018 Grammys, taking the prize for Album of the Year, Record of the Year, Song of the Year, Best R&B Song, Best R&B Album, and Best R&B Performance. Unfortunately, the was a noticeable lack of women among the winners in other categories for the evening. The Grammys president Neil Portnow shared his thoughts on the shortage of female winners.
We'll have to wait and see if other upcoming awards shows fare better in the ratings moving forward. The Oscars have a decent chance of performing well on March 4, if only because viewers will be curious to see if any other epic flubs happen. For what you can watch now and in the coming weeks, be sure to check out our midseason TV premiere guide and our 2018 Netflix premiere schedule.