August 26, 2013 1:23pm PT by Philiana Ng
TV Ratings: MTV VMAs Up 66 Percent Due to Justin Timberlake, 'N Sync Reunion
With a star-studded lineup, an anticipated reunion and excessive promotion, the MTV Video Music Awards proved to be king in the ratings.
The 2½-hour telecast, back in primetime on Sunday night, averaged 10.1 million total viewers — a huge 66 percent boost from last year's mediocre Thursday run that drew nearly 6.1 million, a more than 50 percent drop from 2011's record-breaking audience.
In MTV's core 12-34 demo, the VMAs scored a 7.8 rating, up 47 percent from the previous year. The encore earned another 2.8 million viewers, with total viewership up to 12.9 million for the evening for both airings.
The most watched MTV telecast is still 2011's installment, which deliver 12.4 million, boosted by Beyonce's pregnancy announcement.
The VMA preshow also saw big growth compared to 2012, with 4.6 million total viewers and a 100 percent jump in the 12-34 demo with a 3.6 rating.
This year's awards show boasted a performance lineup that included Justin Timberlake, Katy Perry, Lady Gaga, Macklemore & Ryan Lewis, Bruno Mars, Miley Cyrus, Robin Thicke and Kanye West. Top winners included Timberlake and Macklemore & Ryan Lewis, who both took home three Moonmen, with Timberlake snagging the video of the year prize.
There were also several surprises, such as Timberlake reuniting with his 'N Sync bandmates during his Video Vanguard performance, Jennifer Hudson making a cameo during Macklemore & Ryan Lewis' "Same Love" and a Daft Punk appearance.
The VMAs moved to Brooklyn, the first time the awards show has been held there, and MTV wasn't shy about making a big marketing push to increase awareness across social media platforms and on television.
Cyrus and Thicke's racy performance topped Twitter during the East Coast telecast with 306,100 tweets per minute, with Timberlake behind with 219,800 tweets per minute at its peak. The most-mentioned stars on Twitter were Cyrus (4.5 million), Timberlake (2.9 million) and Lady Gaga (1.9 million).