The 81st Golden Globes, which aired on Sunday, received poor reviews from critics but managed to attract an average of 9.4 million viewers, marking a 50% increase from last year. The ceremony benefited from an NFL lead-in and a star-studded guest list that included Taylor Swift, Oprah Winfrey, Timothée Chalamet, Kylie Jenner, and Leonardo DiCaprio. The biggest winner of the night, "Oppenheimer," was also a box office hit, grossing nearly $1 billion.
However, the broadcast, hosted by comedian Jo Koy, faced criticism for a lackluster opening monologue and a rushed pace that failed to capture the usual excitement associated with the "Hollywood's party of the year" vibe that the Golden Globes are known for. Despite the mixed reviews, the increase in viewership is significant compared to last year's telecast, which garnered only 6.3 million viewers, the lowest in the ceremony's history on NBC.
Like other award shows, the Golden Globes have struggled to maintain their previous viewership numbers due to the decline of linear television. Additionally, the organization faced its own challenges when it was revealed by The Los Angeles Times that the Hollywood Foreign Press Association (HFPA) had no Black members. In response, Hollywood boycotted the organization, resulting in the cancellation of the 2022 Globes. The awards returned in 2023 under new ownership and with a revised voting system involving a group of 300 entertainment journalists from around the world.
CBS aired this year's Golden Globes after securing the broadcasting rights. The network also streamed the event on Paramount TV+ for Showtime subscribers. Although streaming viewership figures were not disclosed, CBS stated that it was the second-largest live-streamed CBS special event on Paramount+.
Jo Koy, the host of the ceremony, admitted that he was affected by the criticism but acknowledged the difficulty of the task given the limited preparation time. Overall, the revamped Golden Globes faced a crucial test this year as they sought to regain their reputation following the scandals and changes in ownership and voting procedures.