ACM Awards Hit Record Low Ratings, Joining Ceremony Slump

Carrie Underwood
Brent Harrington/CBS via Getty Images

Carrie Underwood at the 56th annual Academy of Country Music Awards in Nashville on April 18, 2021.

The Academy of County Music honors drew a record-low audience, joining other awards shows also finding dwindling viewer interest. Ceremony ratings generally have slid in recent years and the trend has continued during the pandemic, with the recent Grammys and Golden Globes among those nosediving.

Next up to be tested: the Academy Awards, airing Sunday on ABC (8 p.m. EDT). The ACM Awards drew just under 6.3 million viewers last Sunday, compared to the 6.6 million that watched in 2020, according to Nielsen figures released Tuesday (Aril 20).

Luke Bryan was crowned entertainer of the year during the event hosted by Keith Urban and Mickey Guyton. An episode of “60 Minutes,” with a segment on the far-right Oath Keepers militia group, was the week’s most-watched TV program. Members of the group are being investigated in connection with the U.S. Capitol insurrection, with one having pled guilty to federal charges.

The news magazine and the ACM Awards — which ranked among last week’s top five programs despite the ceremony’s slump — were both on CBS and helped lead the network to a weekly ratings victory.

For the week of April 12-18, the 10 most-watched programs, their networks and viewerships:

1. 60 Minutes, CBS, 8.48 million.

2. Young Sheldon, CBS, 7.46 million.

3. Blue Bloods, CBS, 6.83 million.

4. ACM Awards, CBS, 6.28 million.

5. The Voice, NBC, 5.83 million.

6. Magnum P.I., CBS, 5.58 million.

7. NCIS, CBS, 5.56 million.

8. United States of Al, CBS, 5.45 million.

9. American Idol (Sunday), ABC, 5.44 million.

10. American Idol (Monday), ABC, 5.39 million.

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