The US TV audience for the Tony Awards hit a new low despite a star-studded cast promoting Broadway’s return.
CBS reported that 2.6 million people watched the two-hour special, titled Broadway’s Back, on Sunday.
The last time the Tony Awards were held in 2019, approximately 5.4 million people watched the ceremony on television.
However, the show usually airs in June, when there is less competition. It was up against Saturday Night Football on NBC and season premieres on ABC and Fox this time.
For the first time, the Tony Awards were split into two parts, with the majority of the awards being streamed on Paramount+ and only the awards for best play, best revival of a play, and best musical being presented during the CBS special.
The Paramount+ viewing figures, like those of most streaming services, are kept under wraps.
Due to the pandemic, the ceremony on Sunday was almost a year late. It also took place nearly two years after the majority of the nominated plays and musicals premiered in New York.
Winner of the best play Both The Inheritance, a modern-day Aids drama, and The Soldier’s Play, about the 1944 murder of a black officer on a US military base, closed in 2020 and have no plans to reopen.
The Moulin Rouge! The Musical was the big winner of the night, winning best musical as well as nine other Tony Awards. The show reopened last week, along with dozens of other shows that returned following Covid.
Lin-Manuel Miranda, Idina Menzel, and Kristin Chenoweth attended the Tony Awards and urged viewers to buy tickets to help live theatre recover from the losses incurred during the pandemic-enforced lockdown.