Coming before Labor Day, the numbers were expected to be low, but the fourth-smallest audience ever? That's what the preliminary Nielsen numbers indicate, with the Sunday telecast averging 16.1 million viewers, down 14 percent from an average 18.8 million viewers last year, when the program was carried on CBS. The awards show had a couple of big strikes against it: NBC pushed it to late August to make room for "Sunday Night Football," and many of the most popular shows were not nominated this year.
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