According to preliminary national estimates from Nielsen that accurately reflect time zone differences, the 65th Primetime Emmy Awards averaged a 4.9 rating in adults 18-49 and 17.6 million viewers overall -- gains vs. last year's telecast on ABC of 26% in the demo and 33% in total viewers.
The Emmy Awards posted its best delivery in total viewers since Sept. 18, 2005 (on CBS and when it did not air against football on NBC) and its best in key demos since the 2006 telecast on NBC (which aired in late August).
The show aired twice on the West Coast, live at 5 p.m. and then a replay starting at about 8:05.
Awards shows in general seem to be thriving in the social-media era. So far in 2013, the Oscars and Golden Globes were up sharply in young-adult demos year to year while the Grammys logged their second best score in years. Other shows including the Tonys and Billboard Music Awards also saw increases this year.
"Breaking Bad," "Modern Family" and "The Voice" picked up the top series prizes on the Emmys telecast, which was hosted by Neil Patrick Harris.
E!'s "Live from the Red Carpet: The 2013 Primetime Emmy Awards" averaged about 1.5 million viewers from 6 to 8 p.m., on par with last year when the event drew its largest audience since 2006.
© 2013 Variety Media, LLC, a subsidiary of Penske Business Media; Distributed by Tribune Content Agency, LLC