The recording academy confirmed Tuesday that the 61st Annual Grammy Awards will take place on Sunday, February 10, 2019 at the Staples Center in Los Angeles. The bulk of the seven dozen awards will be doled out in a non-televised ceremony that afternoon while the big prizes, like Album of the Year, will be presented during the 3.5 hour ceremony that airs live nationwide on CBS beginning at 5 p.m. PT. /8 p.m. ET.
Nominations in all 84 categories will be announced on Wednesday, December 5. These will honor the best in recordings released between October 1 of last year and this coming September 30. For the first time, the four general races — Album, Record and Song of the Year as well as Best New Artist — will have eight nominees. That is up from five in previous years.
The 2018 Grammy Awards, which also aired live coast-to-coast, was dominated by the battle for top honors between Kendrick Lamar and Bruno Mars. Just under 20 million viewers tuned in to CBS to find out who would win (Mars swept the big three races). That was off by more than 6 million from the 2017 Grammys when Adele trounced Beyonce. Perhaps it was the move to late January from the traditional mid February slot that saw viewership drop by a whopping 25% this year. The recording academy bumped its annual award show up on the calendar to avoid going head-to-head with the Winter Olympics on NBC.
The kudocast registered an anemic 5.9 rating in the ad-friendly 18-49 demo; last year’s figure for the Sunday Feb. 13 telecast was 7.8 and that was opposite AMC’s monster hit “The Walking Dead.” In 2016 the Grammys aired on a Monday (Feb. 15) and drew just under 25 million; that was the second-lowest audience ever. This year’s tally comes perilously close to the basement set by the 2009 Grammy Awards, which drew the attention of only 19 million viewers.