Jimmy Kimmel reacts after virtual Emmys attracts lowest-ever audience

This handout screen shot shows host Jimmy Kimmel and actress Jennifer Aniston disinfecting ballots during the 72nd Primetime Emmy Awards held virtually on Sunday, Sept. 20, 2020. American Broadcasting Companies, Inc. / ABC

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Jimmy Kimmel has addressed the lowest-ever Emmy ratings after hosting the virtual awards ceremony on Sunday night.

Just 6.1 million American viewers tuned in for the 72nd annual awards, which were celebrated virtually due to the coronavirus pandemic, with a 1.2 rating for the 18-49 demographic. This is compared to the seven million viewers and a 1.7 rating for 18-49s from the 2019 awards.

Referring to the dismal ratings during his monologue as he returned to Jimmy Kimmel Live! for the first time since his summer vacation, Kimmel said: “Well, I hosted the virtual Emmys last night. They’re saying it was the highest-rated Emmys ever. Oh, the lowest? Oh, all right. Well, we set a record, let’s just say that.”

Despite the poor reception to the first virtual awards, Kimmel insisted that the gig was “a lot of fun”. However, things were vastly different this time around.

“When it was over there are usually parties and everyone is carrying their Emmys around, everybody’s happy, everybody’s celebrating,” Kimmel said. “This year, the show ended and it was like ‘Well, I guess I’ll go into my car and drive home.’ It was nothing.”

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