Phil McCarten/Fox
James Hibberd
September 19, 2011 AT 05:40 PM EDT

That flat opening skit (Leonard Nimoy is not a comedy substitute for Alec Baldwin). The never-to-be-seen-again “Emmytones” choir. Those painful voiceover presenter introductions. Man, even Charlie Sheen and Ricky Gervais seemed neutered.

Sunday night’s Emmys will not be ranked among the most-loved productions of the annual awards show, but at least it won’t be the lowest-rated: Last night’s show delivered 12.4 million viewers, down 8 percent from last year. Yet among adults 18-49, the show’s rating rose slightly, up 2 percent to a 4.2. And among adults 18-34, the show had its biggest number in four years. Those comparisons to aren’t bad considering the Emmys faced NBC’s Sunday Night Football last night. (In 2010, NBC aired the awards show.) The lowest-rated Emmys was in 2008 on ABC, which was seen by 12.3 million and had a 3.8 rating.

Overall, the night was dominated by Sunday Night Football, the Eagles vs. Falcons game registering a 15.7 overnight household rating, up 3 percent from last year’s Week 2 game.

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