Golden Globes ratings recover even as ‘horrid’ host bombs

The Golden Globes bounced back from years of scandal and dwindling audiences to draw 9.4 million viewers, preliminary figures showed on Monday, even as the gala’s flailing host was savaged by critics.

The ratings represented a marked improvement for the Globes, a Hollywood film and television awards show that once ranked second only to the Oscars, but has been in crisis — and even nearly ceased to exist — in recent years.

Last year, television ratings for the event had slumped to a new low of just 6.3 million viewers, after being bumped to an unhelpful Tuesday evening slot.

A year earlier, the gala was not even aired, when former broadcaster NBC pulled the plug due to outrage over the lack of diversity and ethical lapses of the group of journalists that previously organized the awards.

The Globes relaunched this year under new private ownership, led by US billionaire Todd Boehly, with the telecast moved to CBS and restored to its Sunday night spot.

According to trade reports, CBS agreed to broadcast the show for a discounted price on a one-year basis, making the 50 percent ratings bump for this year’s show potentially vital to the Globes’ future.

But despite the bounce, the gala’s ratings remain way down from 2020, when more than 18 million tuned in.

And comedian Jo Koy, who was brought in last-minute to host the event after several bigger names declined the role, was panned by critics.

Koy’s opening monologue fell flat, causing him to protest that he only “got the gig 10 days ago,” and to blame the show’s writers for many of his ill-received jabs.

A crude joke about the breasts of Barbie dolls was met with silence — as was another comparing Bradley Cooper’s large prosthetic nose in “Maestro” to a penis.

The New York Times dubbed the opening monologue “a highlight reel of mortifying moments,” while Vanity Fair called it a “horrid, sophomoric mishmash of lazy jokes.”

Perhaps the night’s most meme-worthy moment came later as Koy cracked a joke about Taylor Swift, who is regularly featured on NFL telecasts as she cheers on her boyfriend, Kansas City Chiefs player Travis Kelce.

“The big difference between the Golden Globes and the NFL? On the Golden Globes, fewer camera shots of Taylor Swift,” said Koy, before the camera cut to the world’s biggest pop star, who stared coldly as she sipped her drink.

Still, Sunday’s gala was boosted by key wins for Christopher Nolan’s $950 million-grossing blockbuster “Oppenheimer,” including best drama, and a historic triumph for Native American actress Lily Gladstone in “Killers of the Flower Moon.”

“Poor Things,” a surreal fantasy reminiscent of Frankenstein starring Emma Stone, bested “Barbie” to win best comedy.