January 27, 2014 8:25am PT by Michael O'Connell
TV Ratings: Grammys Hold Steady With 28.5 Million Viewers
The Grammys returned to CBS Sunday night, airing a couple weeks earlier than recent outings. Adjusted returns for the Jan. 26 telecast have it averaging a 9.9 rating among adults 18-49 and 28.5 million viewers. Those numbers account for the full three-and-a-half hour broadcast, leaving the show mostly in line with last year's Grammys -- down two-tenths of a point in the demo but actually improved by 100,000 viewers.
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The 2013 Grammys ultimately averaged a 10.1 rating among adults 18-49 and 28.4 million viewers. Last year's show suffered an unavoidable drop from the 2012 outing. That telecast took place just 24 hours after the death of Whitney Houston, and the unexpected news sent viewers flocking to the last-minute memorial. Those Grammys averaged nearly 40 million viewers and brought in a 14.1 rating in the demo.
The Grammys are the second-biggest award show on U.S. television, eclipsed only by the Academy Awards. CBS extended its deal with the Recording Academy in 2011, keeping the kudos put on the network through 2021. The 2014 Grammys now stand as the second most-watched in 22 years.
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Also steady last night was the 2014 outing of the NFL Pro Bowl. The no-stakes NFC-AFC game averaged a 3.2 rating among adults 18-49 in Fast National returns, off just a tenth of a point from last year's game. NBC averaged a 3.1 rating among adults 18-49 and 9.3 million viewers for the night.
ABC's Grammy counter-programming was The Bachelor special Sean & Catherine's Wedding. With a 1.6 rating in the demo, it was a distant third place, but saw a 60 percent spike from the franchise's last televised nuptials in 2012. The network averaged a 1.3 rating among adults 18-49 and 5.6 million viewers.
Fox saw its animated line-up shrink without any football lead-in. The Simpsons (1.7 adults) and Bob's Burgers (1.5 adults) both shed a half of a point from their last original outings two weeks ago. Family Guy (2.0 adults) and American Dad (1.5 adults) dropped more, falling a respective seven- and eight-tenths of a point. Fox averaged a 1.3 rating in the key demo and 3 million viewers for the night.