Almost all Emmy nominees go unwatched by most Americans

July 17, 2014, 3:46 PM GMT+0

Half of Americans haven't seen any of this year's drama Emmy nominees, while the Big Bang Theory is the only nominee most people have watched

This year’s Emmy nominees for Best Television Drama are practically the same as last year’s Emmy nominees, and the extra year of programming hasn’t made all that much difference in the percentage of Americans who have watched them, according to the latest Economist/YouGov Poll.

Last year, less than half had seen any of the nominated dramas. This year, over half had seen at least one of the nominated programs, but 46% had not.

The only show to register a double-digit increase in viewership from last year to this year was “Breaking Bad,” which recently concluded its run. It won last year’s Emmy for Best Drama, and its star, Bryan Cranston, had won three Emmys for Leading Actor in a Drama Series. ”Game of Thrones” also registered an increase, and now one in four adults say they had ever watched the show. Other nominated programs trail in viewership. Just 11% had ever seen “True Detective,” which this year supplanted “Homeland” as the sixth Drama nominee.

”Breaking Bad’ and “Game of Thrones” are the two leading choices when the public is asked which program they would like to see win; however, about half have no choice (not a surprise, since manygt had not seen any of the programs).

The Drama nominees are available on PBS, cable and premium cable, and by streaming through Netflix, which distributes “House of Cards,” not over broadcast channels. That significantly reduces their potential audience. The Nominees for Best Comedy Series, on the other hand, include two comedies on broadcast television networks. They are by far, the most often-watched.

More than half of all adults have seen “The Big Bang Theory,” up five points from last year. The reported viewership of “Modern Family,” which has won an Emmy as best comedy in each of its last four seasons, jumped eight points this year. Surprisingly, perhaps, the third most-viewed comedy is “Orange is the New Black,” which like “House of Cards” is distributed through Netflix. Last year, the third broadcast nominee, “30 Rock,” was more often-viewed than any of the cable offerings. “30 Rock” ended its run last year.

Only 30% claim to have seen none of the nominated comedies, far fewer than those who have yet to view a drama nominee.

“The Big Bang Theory,” the most viewed show, is also the most popular. It’s the public’s first choice for Best Comedy, followed by “Modern Family,” and “Orange Is the New Black.”

Image: Getty

Full results can be found here.

Economist/YouGov poll archives can be found here.