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Tony awards viewership up 2% versus 2022 with streaming audience record

The 76th annual Tony Awards managed to persevere on Sunday despite the ongoing writers strike, drawing a three-year high of 4.31M viewers.

The three-hour telecast, which almost didn’t happen due to the strike, aired live on CBS coast-to-coast for the second year in a row and streaming on Paramount+ and the CBS digital platforms, according to early Nielsen data.

Sunday night’s telecast was 2% versus last year’s audience of 3.86M viewers. At the time, that was a strong showing for the Tony Awards, up 39% from the abbreviated pandemic ceremony that faced some tough broadcast competition in 2021.

According to CBS, the show was the most live-streamed Tony Awards ever, with the audience on Paramount+ up 13% over last year.

The event pre-show The Tony Awards: Act One aired exclusive content in the 90 minutes leading up to the show, becoming the most-watched live event in Pluto TV’s nearly decade-long history.

Like all awards shows, the Tony Awards hit an all-time low viewership during the pandemic that it still hasn’t quite bounced back from. Though this was the most-watched Tonys since 2019, it wasn’t able to reach its pre-pandemic audience of 5.4M viewers. Still, just like last year, the show was the second most-watched broadcast program on Sunday behind only its lead-in, a rerun of 60 Minutes.

Although the writers agreed not to picket the Tony Awards on Sunday, they weren’t able to provide services for the ceremony either, meaning that it went without a scripted opening and the usual scripted banter throughout the night. Despite that hiccup, the show went smoothly.

Kimberly Akimbo was the big winner at the 76th annual ceremony on Sunday night in New York. It won five awards including Best Musical and Lead Actress for Victoria Clark. Leopoldstadt won four Tonys including Best Play, tying for second-most with Some Like It Hot. See the full list of winners here. Deadline

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