Considering what it was up against — a Patriots/Ravens rematch after last year's playoff shocker — the Emmys did remarkably well Sunday night: 13.2 million viewers.
That's up from 12.4 million last year on Fox, which — as you correctly deduce — is a better direction for the ratings to go than the alternative.
I am sure a lot of other places will parse the numbers for you — such as the fact that younger viewers have drifted away. But overall, the story is a good one. People are still interested in the Emmys, and Sunday night's show — from a strict production standpoint — really did nothing to drive those people away.
Sure, Jimmy Kimmel probably wasn't the breakout success many — or at least I — expected. But it is worth noting that a tightly paced show — as this one was — is going to leave little room for the host to stand out anyway.