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Yowch. The ratings for this year’s Emmy Awards telecast on Fox thoroughly tanked. The hostless ceremony Sunday night drew the smallest audience for any Emmys ever. The total viewership for the night was 6.9 million, a 32 percent drop from last year’s Monday airing and a 39 percent drop from 2017’s Sunday airing.

Again, yowch. The Emmys are not only merely dying. They’re really most sincerely dying.

Color me unsurprised. With the popular “Game of Thrones” up for its final round of statues, Fox might have expected more viewer interest on Sunday night. But the HBO show, which had repeat wins for best drama and supporting actor (Peter Dinklage), has been prominent for much of the decade. Its nominations likely didn’t inspire interest in the Emmys; indeed they may have left potential viewers feeling tired of the same old same old.

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Likewise, the fracturing of TV audiences has cut into the public’s interest in the Emmy show. Many viewers haven’t seen a lot of the nominated series, since so many of them run on various pay cable and pay streaming services. Some viewers have seen the HBO shows, perhaps, but none of the Amazon shows. Some have seen the Netflix shows, but none of the Hulu shows. I don’t think that a whole lot of Emmycast viewers have actually seen “Fleabag,” which won for best comedy, best writing, and best actress (Phoebe Waller-Bridge).

And finally, there are so many awards shows these days, and so many of them are awful and repetitive. This year’s Fox Emmycast was painfully bad, with piped-in songs and lousy scripted jokes and sketches. Viewers are clearly burning out on the red carpets and plunging necklines and forced stage banter of these frequent back-pat-fests.


Matthew Gilbert can be reached at gilbert@globe.com. Follow him on Twitter @MatthewGilbert.

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